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The Enlightenment in Europe


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Title: The Enlightenment in Europe

The Enlightenment in Europe
  • Ch. 21 Section 2

  • The Renaissance humanists celebrated the human
    race and its capacities
  • Scientific Revolution challenged previously
    accepted ideas
  • Copernicus Galileos heliocentric theory
  • Nothing was to be accepted on faith alone
  • Scientific method to test ideas
  • In the case of England, a new government and laws
    contributed to the desire for social and
    political change

Enlightenment Age of Reason
  • New intellectual movement stressing reason,
    thought, the power of individuals to solve
  • Rationalism everything needed to be submitted
    to critical, scientific way of thinking
  • Desire for progress and the creation of better
    societies and better people
  • Enlightenment was primarily secular (worldly)

New Views on Government
  • The political turmoil in England (English Civil
    War, Glorious Revolution) and the introduction of
    a constitutional monarchy led people to consider
    their ideal government
  • How should rulers govern? What rights and
    freedoms did people have? What role should
    religion and the Church have?
  • Idea that the power of a govt comes from the
    consent of the governed

Two Views on Government Thomas Hobbes
  • Wrote Leviathan (1651)
  • All humans were naturally selfish wicked
  • Needed government to keep order
  • Social contract people give up rights to strong
    ruler in return for law order
  • Hobbes saw best government as absolute monarchy ?
    imposes order demands obedience

Two Views on Government John Locke
  • Positive view of human nature ? people were
  • Tabula rasa ? human mind is a blank slate at
  • People learn from experience improve themselves
  • Criticized absolute monarchy favored
  • Wrote Two Treatises of Civil Government

  • Believed people are born free equal, with
    natural rights to life, liberty, and property
  • Purpose of government is to protect rights ? if
    fails, then citizens have right to overthrow
  • Governments power comes from governed ?
    foundation of modern democracy

No, not that John Locke
This John Locke
Enlightenment Philosophes
Jean Huber (1721-1786) Le repas des philosophes
  • Philosophes intellectuals or social critics (in
  • Philosophes believed one could apply reason to
    all aspects of life

Five Core Beliefs of Philosophes
  1. Reason ? truth discovered through reason or logic
  2. Nature ? what was natural was good reasonable
  3. Happiness ? urged people to seek well-being on
  4. Progress ? society mankind could improve
  5. Liberty ? called for liberties won in Glorious
    Revolution Bill of Rights

Voltaire (François Marie Arouet)
  • Wrote 70 books of political essays, philosophy,
  • Used satire against opponents
  • Targeted clergy, aristocracy, govt
  • Believed in a distant, uninvolved God
  • Two prison terms, exiled to England for 2 years
  • Imprisoned in Bastille in Paris for insulting the
    regent of France

It is dangerous to be right in matters on which
the established authorities are wrong. Voltaire
  • Fought for tolerance, reason, freedom of
    religion, freedom of speech
  • I do not agree with a word you say but will
    defend to the death for your right to say it.
  • His most famous work was Candide, which is known
    for its satire and attack on optimism

Baron de Montesquieu
  • Devoted to study of political liberty
  • Britain as model govt
  • division of powers executive (king), legislative
    (Parliament), judicial (courts)
  • separation of powers kept people from getting
    total control of govt
  • On the Spirit of Laws (1748)

"When the law making and law enforcementpowers
are united in the same person...there can be no
liberty." Montesquieu
Jean Jacques Rousseau
  • Influenced by Voltaire, but believed his
    philosophe friends were plotting against him
  • Committed to individual freedom
  • Civilization corrupted peoples natural goodness
  • - Man is born free, and everywhere he is in

  • Only good govt was a direct democracy
  • - formed by the people
  • - guided by general will of society
  • - people give up some freedoms in favor of
    common good
  • The Social Contract (1762)

Hobbes vs. Rousseau Social Contract
  • Hobbes ? social contract was agreement between
    society govt
  • Rousseau ? agreement among free individuals to
    create society govt

Cesare Beccaria (Italian)
  • Focused on justice system
  • Laws existed to preserve social order, not to
    avenge crimes
  • Abuses of justice torture, irregular proceedings
    in trials, arbitrary punishments
  • Degree of punishment should be based on
    seriousness of crime
  • No torture or capital punishment

Women in the Enlightenment
  • Most Philosophes had traditional views toward
  • - Rousseau ? girls should be taught to be wife
    mother, but should not govern
  • - Some men scolded women for reading novels ?
    encouraged idleness wickedness
  • "It is against reason and against nature for
    women to be mistresses in the house... but not
    for them to govern an empire. In the first case,
    their weak state does not permit them to be
    preeminent in the second, their very weakness
    gives them more gentleness and moderation, which,
    rather than the harsh and ferocious virtues, can
    make for a good environment." Rousseau

Women in the Enlightenment
  • Some male writers argued for more education for
    women womens equality in marriage
  • Voltaire disagreed with how women were treated
  • Several women did become prominent in
    Enlightenment society

English writer Mary Astell
  • A Serious Proposal to the Ladies (1694)
  • Addressed lack of educational opportunities for
  • Used the ideas of Enlightenment philosophes to
    criticize the unequal relationship between men
    women in marriage
  • If absolute sovereignty be not necessary in a
    state, how comes it to be so in a family?
  • If all men are born free, how is it that all
    women are born slaves?

Mary Wollstonecraft
  • A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792)
  • Disagreed w/Rousseau by arguing that women need
    education to become virtuous useful
  • Urged women to enter male-dominated fields such
    as medicine or politics
  • Her daughter, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, wrote
    the classic novel Frankenstein

  • Emilie du Châtelet ? intellectual woman of high
  • Was a companion of Voltaire
  • Attacked the unequal education of women
  • Stated that if she were a ruler I would reform
    an abuse which cuts off, so to speak, half the
    human race. I would make women participate in
    all the rights of humankind, and above all in
    those of the intellect.

Legacy of Enlightenment
  • Writers examined principles
  • - divine right of monarchs
  • - union of church state
  • - existence of unequal social classes
  • Philosophes encouraged reform, but were not
    active revolutionaries
  • - Inspired other revolutionary movements
    (America France)

Long-term Effects of Enlightenment
  • 1) Belief in progress
  • Growth of scientific knowledge
  • Urged an end to slavery
  • Argued for greater social equality
  • Encouraged democratic style of govt
  • 2) Rise of more secular outlook
  • Mysteries explained by science, not God
  • Attacked some beliefs practices of organized
  • - promoted tolerance of all religions

Long-term Effects of Enlightenment
  • 3) Rise of individualism
  • Encouraged people to use own ability to reason in
    order to judge right wrong
  • Importance of individual in society ? govt by
    individuals to promote their welfare

The Enlightenment Spreads
  • Wealthy women ? hostesses of social gatherings
    known as salons
  • Philosophers, writers, artists, scientists,
    intellects met at salons to discuss ideas

  • Salon hostess Marie-Thérèse Geoffrin funded
    project of philosophe Denis Diderot
  • Encyclopedia (1751) ?large set of books including
    articles essays of scholars
  • Articles angered French govt Catholic Church
  • Banned because it undermined royal authority,
    encouraged spirit of revolt, fostered moral

Enlightenment ideas spread through newspapers,
pamphlets, political songs
  • Growing literate middle class ? could afford to
    buy books support work of artists
  • Salons helped the spread of ideas as well

  • Literacy during the 18th C. Enlightenment?
    Difficult to determine
  • America, late 18th C. (Ability to sign name)
  • New England 90 men, 40 women
  • Rest of country 35-50
  • France (Ability to read and sign name)
  • Early 18th C 35 men, 20 women
  • 1770 80 men, 60 women

New Artistic Styles
  • Art in 1600s-1700s was dominated by style known
    as baroque
  • - grand, ornate design
  • Influence of Enlightenment ? art changed to
    neoclassical style
  • - simple, elegant style borrowed form classical
    Greece Rome

Classical music emerged ? lighter, more elegant
  • Three composers from Vienna

Franz Joseph Haydn
Ludwig van Beethoven
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
New literature known as novels ? lengthy works of
prose fiction
  • Crafted plots, suspense, explored characters
    thoughts feelings
  • Samuel Richardsons Pamela ? first true English
  • Women also wrote popular novels

Enlightenment Monarchy
  • Many philosophes believed best form of govt was
    monarchy in which ruler respected peoples rights
  • Enlightened despots (absolute ruler) ? embraced
    new ideas of Enlightenment made reforms
  • Enlightened despots wanted to strengthen their
    countries enhance their rule

Frederick II (the Great) of Prussia
  • Granted religious freedoms, reduced censorship,
    improved education, reformed justice system
  • Never tried to end existing social order ? did
    not end serfdom because needed support of wealthy
  • His goal was to serve strengthen his country ?
    called himself the first servant of the state

Joseph II of Austria
  • Introduced legal reforms freedom of press
  • Supported freedom of worship
  • Abolished serfdom ordered peasants to be paid
    for labor
  • Nobles resisted his reforms undone after his

Catherine the Great of Russia
  • Formed commission to review Russias laws ? based
    on ideas of Montesquieu Beccaria
  • Commission did not succeed in making reforms
  • Serf uprising ? Catherine gave nobles absolute
    power over serfs

Catherine expanded Russia
  • Gained access to Black Sea
  • Took territory from Poland as part of First
    Partition of Poland in 1772

Enlightenment ideas inspired revolutions
  • British colonial leaders in North America decided
    to found their own independent republic