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The Enlightenment
Introduction: Defining the Enlightenment <ul><li>French  philosophes  – the ‘high Enlightenment’ </li></ul><ul><li>Jonatha...
1) The  Philosophes Voltaire (1694-1778)
Toleration <ul><li>If a country’s religion is sacred (for every country boasts that it is), a hundred thousand volumes wri...
Voltaire and religion <ul><li>Lisbon earthquake 1755 </li></ul><ul><li>Jean Calas case (1762) </li></ul><ul><li>Voltaire: ...
L’Encyclopédie <ul><li>Denis Diderot editor from 1751 to 1765 </li></ul><ul><li>Contributors: Rousseau, d’Holbach and Buff...
Diderot and d’Alembert’s Tree of Human Knowledge
Rousseau and the perfectibility of man <ul><li>Born 1712 city state of Geneva </li></ul><ul><li>Discourse on the Origins o...
Rousseau and the problem of civilization <ul><li>‘ Noble savage’ in ‘state of nature’ -solitary, free, self-sufficient </l...
Rousseau and French Revolution <ul><li>Rousseau reburied in republican Pantheon in Paris </li></ul><ul><li>Robespierre: ‘t...
2) Enlightened despotism <ul><li>Catherine II of Russia (1762-1796) </li></ul><ul><li>Reforms: </li></ul><ul><li>1764: chu...
Maria-Theresa and Joseph II of Austria Hungary <ul><li>Maria-Theresa, with chancellors, Haugwitz and Kaunitz, introduced v...
Genuinely enlightened? <ul><li>Some monarchs influenced by enlightenment ideas  but </li></ul><ul><li>Trying to curtail ri...
3)  Enlightenment from below? <ul><li>Rational dissent = alliance between unorthodox religion (Protestant nonconformists e...
The public sphere <ul><li>New forms of sociability: coffee houses, reading societies, political discussion </li></ul><ul><...
The literary underground <ul><li>Darnton – in France explosion in literary population, 1750-1790 = ‘Grub street’ </li></ul...
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The Enlightenment

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The Enlightenment

  1. 1. The Enlightenment
  2. 2. Introduction: Defining the Enlightenment <ul><li>French philosophes – the ‘high Enlightenment’ </li></ul><ul><li>Jonathan Israel and Roy Porter: Dutch and English late 17cy scientific revolutions (Spinoza, Locke and Newton) </li></ul><ul><li>National contexts </li></ul><ul><li>Global nature (voyages of Cook and de Bougainville) </li></ul><ul><li>Enlightened Absolutism ‘Enlightenment from above’ </li></ul><ul><li>Robert Darnton ‘Enlightenment from below’ </li></ul>
  3. 3. 1) The Philosophes Voltaire (1694-1778)
  4. 4. Toleration <ul><li>If a country’s religion is sacred (for every country boasts that it is), a hundred thousand volumes written against it will do it no more harm than [that done] to rock-solid walls by a hundred thousand snowballs. The gates of Hell shall not prevail against it, as you know! How can a few black letters traced on paper destroy it? </li></ul><ul><li>Voltaire, Dialogues between ABC (1768) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Voltaire and religion <ul><li>Lisbon earthquake 1755 </li></ul><ul><li>Jean Calas case (1762) </li></ul><ul><li>Voltaire: not an atheist, but a deist – religion could be rational </li></ul>
  6. 6. L’Encyclopédie <ul><li>Denis Diderot editor from 1751 to 1765 </li></ul><ul><li>Contributors: Rousseau, d’Holbach and Buffon – 72,000 articles by 300 writers </li></ul><ul><li>Sold 25,000 copies by 1789 </li></ul><ul><li>Acquisition of rational, modern knowledge </li></ul>
  7. 7. Diderot and d’Alembert’s Tree of Human Knowledge
  8. 8. Rousseau and the perfectibility of man <ul><li>Born 1712 city state of Geneva </li></ul><ul><li>Discourse on the Origins of Inequality (1754) </li></ul><ul><li>The Social Contract (1762) </li></ul><ul><li>Emile (1762) </li></ul><ul><li>modern civilization and corruption of man’s innate virtue </li></ul>
  9. 9. Rousseau and the problem of civilization <ul><li>‘ Noble savage’ in ‘state of nature’ -solitary, free, self-sufficient </li></ul><ul><li>Society = </li></ul><ul><li>dependents </li></ul><ul><li>division of labour </li></ul><ul><li>envy, pride and acquisition of riches </li></ul><ul><li>Solutions to loss of freedom: </li></ul><ul><li>Social contract : ruled by ‘general will’ citizens would be ‘forced to be free’ </li></ul><ul><li>Emile : moral education </li></ul>
  10. 10. Rousseau and French Revolution <ul><li>Rousseau reburied in republican Pantheon in Paris </li></ul><ul><li>Robespierre: ‘the morality which has disappeared in most individuals can be found only in the mass of people and in the general interest’. </li></ul><ul><li>Origins of totalitarianism? </li></ul>
  11. 11. 2) Enlightened despotism <ul><li>Catherine II of Russia (1762-1796) </li></ul><ul><li>Reforms: </li></ul><ul><li>1764: church lands secularized </li></ul><ul><li>1765: survey of landownership </li></ul><ul><li>1767: new code of laws drafted, but not implemented </li></ul><ul><li>1775: local government reforms (influence of Montesquieu) </li></ul><ul><li>Genuinely enlightened or merely strategic? </li></ul>Catherine II and Diderot
  12. 12. Maria-Theresa and Joseph II of Austria Hungary <ul><li>Maria-Theresa, with chancellors, Haugwitz and Kaunitz, introduced various reforms: </li></ul><ul><li>Jesuit influence curtailed (1773) </li></ul><ul><li>Civil and criminal law codified (1766) </li></ul><ul><li>Church property surveyed </li></ul><ul><li>Joseph II, enlightened not just practical reform: </li></ul><ul><li>discrimination against Protestants, Greek orthodox removed (1781-3) </li></ul><ul><li>Some Jewish disabilities (eg. Leibmaut ) removed but had to speak German in public </li></ul><ul><li>Legal reforms, influenced by Beccaria: death penalty abolished (1787), tried and failed to emancipate serfs in 1789 </li></ul>
  13. 13. Genuinely enlightened? <ul><li>Some monarchs influenced by enlightenment ideas but </li></ul><ul><li>Trying to curtail rival forms of authority </li></ul><ul><li>New forms of administration could be equally barbaric </li></ul>
  14. 14. 3) Enlightenment from below? <ul><li>Rational dissent = alliance between unorthodox religion (Protestant nonconformists eg. Unitarians, Muggletonians) and scientific thinking </li></ul><ul><li>Joseph Priestly </li></ul><ul><li>Erasmus Darwin and the Lunar Society in Birmingham (Josiah Wedgewood and James Watt) </li></ul><ul><li>America: Benjamin Franklin </li></ul>
  15. 15. The public sphere <ul><li>New forms of sociability: coffee houses, reading societies, political discussion </li></ul><ul><li>Masonic Lodges </li></ul><ul><li>More accessible and open, but how open? </li></ul><ul><li>Women – salons, masonic lodges Emilie du Châtelet, translator of Newton </li></ul><ul><li>but Enlightenment often denied women’s capacity to reason </li></ul><ul><li>What about the poor and rural population? </li></ul>
  16. 16. The literary underground <ul><li>Darnton – in France explosion in literary population, 1750-1790 = ‘Grub street’ </li></ul><ul><li>Hostility to literary elite, courtly connections, patronage </li></ul><ul><li>Wrote scandalous libelles against court, church, monarchy </li></ul><ul><li>Chipping away at the legitimacy of court of Louis XVI </li></ul><ul><li>Largely uninterested in philosophy but </li></ul><ul><li>attracted to Rousseau’s utopianism </li></ul><ul><li>Mercier, L’An 2440 (1771) </li></ul>

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