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The 17th and 18th(Neoclassical) Century 1625-1798


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Title: The 17th and 18th(Neoclassical) Century 1625-1798

The 17th and 18th(Neoclassical) Century 1625-1798
  • Mrs. Cumberland

A Turbulent Time Historical Background
  • In 1649, the English shocked the world by
    beheading their king and abolishing the monarchy.
  • In the decades before the civil wars tore England
    apart, revolutions in science and religion had
    already unsettled peoples worldview.

  • The new astronomy had exiled the Earth from the
    center of the universe to the vastness of
    infinite space.
  • New religious creeds had altered or abolished the
    traditions of centuries.
  • John Donne wrote, with his newfound insecurity,
    Tis all in pieces, all coherence gone.

Monarch is Back
  • By the 1700s, though, a monarch was back on the
    throne, and a new, competitive society had sprung
    up, with a looser social structure and greater
    freedom in religion and politics.

Charles I and Parliament
  • Crowned in 1625
  • Clashed with Parliament over money
  • King Charles needed money for his wars, and
    Parliament refused to fund them.

Loans? No Loans?
  • The king then extorted loans from his wealthy
    subjects and pressed the poor into service as
    soldiers and sailors.
  • Parliament tried to prevent such abuses of power,
    so Charles eventually dissolved Parliament and
    would not call it into session for 11yrs.

Religious Controversy
  • He insisted the clergymen conform, or observe
    all the ceremonies of the Anglican Church.
  • Puritans- Calvanists who wished to purify the
    Church of its Catholic traditions- were enraged
    by some of these requirements.

  • Puritans believed that each group of worshipers,
    moved by the members divinely granted
    consciences, had the right to choose its own
    minister- an idea dangerously close to democracy.
    For these and other ideas, dissenters were
    persecuted and tortured as criminals.

The Civil War
  • Charless problem grew worse after he was forced
    to fight Scottish rebels outraged by his
    insistence on religious conformity.
  • Desperate for money, he summoned a hostile
  • Parliament condemned Charles I as a tyrant in
  • Civil war broke out
  • In 1645, Parliaments forces, led by Oliver
    Cromwell, defeated the royalist army and captured

Cromwell Rules
  • Radical Puritans dominated Parliament
  • Tried and convicted the king for treason
  • Charles I was beheaded on January 30, 1649
  • Cromwell led the new government, called the
    English Commonwealth
  • He dissolved Parliament in 1653 and named himself
    Lord Protector
  • He ruled as a dictator until 1658 when he died

  • Civil war had not led to the free society that
    many who had fought against the king expected.
  • Hopes, economic hardship unrest
  • The Commonwealth fueled discontent by outlawing
  • Gambling
  • Horse racing
  • Newspapers
  • Fancy clothes
  • Public dancing
  • The theater

The Restoration
  • By Cromwells death, England had had enough
    taxation, violence, and disorder.
  • In 1658, Parliament offered the crown to the
    exiled son of Charles I, who became Charles II in
  • The monarch was restored

  • In sharp contrast to the drab Puritan leaders,
    Charles II and his court copied the plush
    fashions of Paris
  • Charles
  • Avid patron of the arts and science
  • Invited Italian composers and Dutch painters to
    live and work in London.

European Political Thinkers
Thinker Major Ideas Quotation
Thomas Hobbes Leviathan (1651) People are driven by selfishness and greed. To avoid chaos, they give up their freedom to a government that will ensure order. Such a government must be strong and able to suppress rebellion The condition of man in the state of nature is a condition of war of everyone against everyone.
European Political Thinkers
Thinker Major Ideas Quotation
John Locke Two Treaties of Government (1690) People have a natural right to life, liberty, and property. Rulers have a responsibility to protect those rights. People have the right to change a government that fails to do so. Men being by nature all free, equal, and independent, no one can be put out of this estate and subjected to the political power of another without his own consent.
European Political Thinkers
Thinker Major Ideas Quotation
Baron de Montesquieu The Spirit of the Laws (1748) The powers of government should be separated into executive, legislative, and judicial branches, to prevent any one group from gaining too much power. In order to have liberty, it is necessary that government be set up so that one man need not be afraid of another.
A Glorious Revolution
  • Charles IIs successor James II
  • Devout Catholic.
  • Parliament invited Mary, the Protestant daughter
    of James II, to rule England jointly with her
    husband, William of Orange.
  • Rather than fight, James escaped to France
  • The people of England hailed the event as the
    Glorious Revolution of 1688 because not a drop
    of blood had been shed.

1689 Bill of Rights
  • William and Mary agreed to Parliaments Bill of
  • This bill guaranteed Parliament the right to
    approve all taxes and forbade the monarch to
    suspend the law.
  • England thus attained a limited, or
    constitutional, monarchy.

Tories and Whigs
  • In ensuing decades, two political factions
    crystallized in Parliament the conservative,
    aristocratic Tories and the Whigs, drawn largely
    from Britains growing merchant class.
  • A cabinet of ministers drawn from Parliament, and
    eventually unified under the leadership of a
    prime minister, began to rule the country.

An Agricultural Revolution
  • By the late 1600s, new farm tools made it
    possible for farms to produce much more food.
  • Population surged upward
  • Many people left the countryside
  • Growing towns
  • Became factory hands who ran the machines of the
    early Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Age
  • British inventions after 1750 made the spinning
    and weaving of cloth much more efficient.
  • The steam engine was perfected and adapted to run
    a power loom
  • Factories were built to produce vast quantities
    of cotton cloth
  • Merchants sold goods all over the world
  • As late as 1790s most were still earning a
    living as farmers

The Enlightenment
  • The scientific revolution that made industry
    possible stemmed from a larger development in
    thought known as the Enlightenment.
  • Through reason and observation of nature, human
    beings could discover the order underlying all

The Enlightenment
  • Sir Isaac Newton study of gravity

The Enlightenment
  • Men, women, and children toiled at machines for
    12-14 hr/day
  • Poor people crowded the towns and cities
  • By the late 1700s progress misery
  • Writers and intellectuals began to lose faith in
    the ability of human reason to solve every problem

Technology and Society Connections
  • Efficiency and agriculture and industry had deep
    social consequences
  • Rich landowners pushed ahead with enclosure, by
    which they took over and fenced off the common
    land formerly shared by peasant villagers.
  • Farm output rose
  • Profits rose because large fields needed fewer
    people to work them
  • Small farmers were forced off their land because
    they could not compete with large landholders
  • The jobless or landless farm workers migrate to
    the cities.

Literature of the Period The Schools of Jonson
and Donne
  • 17th and 18th Century

Ben Jonson ( 1572-1637)
  • Strove for the perfection and harmony he found in
    his beloved classical authors, turning away from
    the ornate style of Elizabethan times to create
    his own modern, strong voice.
  • He wrote poems, plays, and masques (court

(No Transcript)
Ben Jonson
  • Took seriously the role of the poet
  • He believed, in fact, that no other profession
    could compare to it.
  • Poets, he wrote, encourage young men to all good
    disciplines, inflame grown men to all great
    virtues and keep old men in their best and
    supreme state
  • A person could not be a good poet without being
    a good man, he asserted

Jonson Influences
  • His critical opinion exercised a powerful
    influence on other poets of the time.
  • Robert Herrick ( 1591-1674)
  • Sir John Suckling (1609-1642)
  • Richard Lovelace (1618-1657)

The Products of Jonson
Robert Herrick Sir John Suckling Richard Lovelace
John Donne ( 1572-1631)
John Donne
  • Pioneered a new, witty, cerebral style later
    known as Metaphysical Poetry
  • Characterized by
  • Unusual degree of intellectualism
  • Subtle arguments that raid the worlds of science,
    law, and philosophy for surprising but strangely
    accurate comparisons.

Examples of such
  • A Valediction of Weeping
  • Compares his tears, which reflect his lovers
    face, to coins that are stamped with her image
  • A Valediction Forbidding Mourning
  • Compares parted lovers to the two legs of a
    drawing compass

Followers of Donne
  • George Herbert ( 1593-1633)
  • Andrew Marvell ( 1621-1678)

The Followers
  • Andrew Marvell
  • Best lyrics blend the brilliance of Donne and the
    classical finish of Jonson
  • Offer observations on nature, love, and God that,
    at first, seem urbane and perhaps conventional,
    but on closer inspection prove profound.
  • His best known poem, To His Coy Mistress is one
    of the best lyrics in English literature.
  • George Herbert
  • His mother was a friend of Donnes
  • His life parallels Donnes
  • Felt tension between worldly ambition and
    religious devotion
  • Became an Anglican deacon
  • Best poems are religious lyrics collected in The

The Puritan Writers
  • Perhaps the greatest poet of the 17th century was
    a Puritan, not a Cavalier John Milton
  • The Puritan movement also produced the
    best-selling prose writer of the century, John
  • Only the Bible sold more copies than Bunyans
    religious narrative, The Pilgrims Progress.

John Milton ( 1608-1674)
  • Learned disciple of Greek and Latin authors
  • Studied the Old Testament in Hebrew

  • Born to a prosperous middle-class family
  • Studied at Cambridge
  • Wrote political pamphlets for the Puritan cause
    when the battle between Charles I and Parliament
    was in the midst.
  • Areopagitica ( Miltons pamphlet) a ringing call
    for freedom of the press
  • Supported the Commonewealth and Protectorate and
    defended the execution of Charles I.
  • Milton lost hope of forming a just society on
    earth when Cromwells rule turned to dictatorship

Timeline 1625- 1798
  • British Events/ World Events

British Events/ World Events
  • 1627 Sir Francis Bacon publishes The New Atlantis
  • 1628 Willam Harvey explains blood circulation
  • 1633 John Donnes Songs and Sonnets published
  • 1635 Public mail service established
  • 1637 John Milton publishes Lycidas
  • 1600 Japan Kabuki theater developed
  • 1614 North America Dutch found New Amsterdam

British Events/ World Events
  • 1640 Charles I summons Long Parliament
  • 1642 English Civil War begins
  • 1646 John Suckling publishes Fragmenta Aurea
  • 1647 George Fox founds Society of Friends (
  • 1649 Charles I beheaded Puritans close theaters
    Oliver Cromwell becomes Lord Protector
  • 1650 Early newspaper ads appear Full-blown wigs
    come into fashion
  • 1640 India English settlement established in
  • 1640 North America Bay Psalm Book published in
  • 1643 France Louis XIV becomes king
  • 1650 North America Anne Bradstreets collection
    of poems is published
  • 1651 North America William Bradford finishes Of
    Plymouth Plantation

British Events/ World Events
  • 1658 Oliver Cromwell dies Puritan government
  • 1660 Monarchy restored theaters reopen
  • 1666 Great Fire of London
  • 1667 John Miltons Paradise Lost published
  • 1668 John Dryden publishes An Essay of Dramatic
  • 1662 France Louis XIV begins building palace of
  • 1664 North America Britain seizes New
  • 1666 Italy Stradivari labels first violin

British Events/ World Events
  • 1685 James II becomes king
  • 1688 Glorious Revolution
  • 1688 Bill of Rights becomes law
  • 1702 First daily newspaper begins publication
  • 1680 China All ports open to foreign trade
  • 1685 France Louis XIV revokes Edict of Nantes,
    provoking persecution of Protestants
  • 1690 India Calcutta founded by British
  • 1703 Russia Peter the Great begins building St.

British Events/ World Events
  • 1712 Alexander Pope published The Rape of Lock
  • 1714 George I becomes king
  • 1719 Daniel Defoe publishes Robinson Crusoe
  • 1726 Jonathan Swift publishes Gullivers Travels
  • 1751 Thomas Gray publishes Elegy in a Country
  • 1715 France Louis XV succeeds to throne
  • 1721 Germany Bach composes Brandenburg Concertos
  • 1727 Brazil First coffee planted
  • 1752 North America Benjamin Franklin invents
    lighting rod

British Events/ World Events
  • 1755 Samuel Jonson publishes Dictionary of the
    English Language
  • 1756 Britain enters Seven Years War
  • 1793 England goes to war with France
  • 1773 North America Boston Tea Party
  • 1775 North America American Revolution begins
  • 1784 France first school established for the
  • 1789 France Revolution begins with storming of
    the Bastille

  • Went blind in 1652 as a result of his labors
  • Composed an epic that would explain why God
    allows suffering in this world The epic,
    Paradise Lost, reflects Miltons humanistic love
    of poetry and his Puritan devotion to God.