Coffee House and the Enlightenment – Read page 555
Enlightenment Philosophes, Literature, Despots, and Society…and more!
The Americans had several other advantages: a) better Generals b) more motivation, c) style of fighting (guerrilla warfare; the British Armys Red Coats were a big disadvantage), d) the British had to supply the war from too far away Most Europeans (including many Britains) saw the establishment of the United States and the ratification of the Constitution as symbolic the U.S. became a model for European intellectuals, leaders, and philosophes
The British actually took some lessons from the colonies reforming Parliament to make it a less aristocratic and more truly “democratic” assembly leading to the Yorkshire Association Movement that began in 1778 under the leadership of Christopher Wyvil Nevertheless, Parliament acted on these concerns, passing a series of reforms: a) a 1780 resolution to limit the monarch’s power b) a 1782 measure for economic reform which lessened the monarch’s patronage power
A period of secular and rational thought in Europe and the New World; this era combined the ideas of the Renaissance with those of the scientific revolution Europeans began to look critically at their own society in an effort to improve it every thought, idea, and notion of Truth had to be tested by a standard of reason
Newton Locke – tabula rasa Rejects Judeo-Christian notion of original sin and believes that a person is born with a blank slate, shaped almost entirely by his/her environment Thus… Each person can take charge of his/her own destiny – need not wait on God
Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire Denis Diderot David Hume Cesare Beccaria
Edward Gibbon – an English historian who published “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” in 1776 examined the early history of Christianity and explained the rise of this great faith in terms of natural causes rather than in religious or miraculous ways Scientific Advances -- the scientific method became widely used in all branches of science a) Joseph Priestly -- English minister and scientist; discovered oxygen in 1774 b) Benjamin Franklin -- Pennsylvania printer; Renaissance Man; used kite in thunderstorm to discover electricity c) Captain James Cook -- English explorer; three voyages to explore and chart the South Pacific; not in search of gold; on scientific missions sponsored by the Royal Society of London; first European to reach Australia, Tahiti, New Zealand, and Hawaii
Adam Smith -- professor at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland disagreed with mercantilism felt that any government regulation interfered with the production of wealth any economy would prosper the most if left alone by the government proposed "laissez-faire" economics (French for "hands off") published The Wealth of Nations in 1776 leading to a greater emphasis on capitalism in the world based his arguments on three natural laws: a) the law of self-interest (people work for their own good and for selfish reasons), b) the law of competition (increased competition led to more efficiency and higher quality) c) the law of supply and demand (goods are produced and priced according to need/demand of the consumers)
French economic reformers like Francois Quesnay and Pierre Dupont de Nemours who believed that the primary role of the government was to protect property and to permit freedom in the use of property.