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18th century England, the Enlightenment and the birth of liberty Introduction : general context.

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Presentation on theme: "18th century England, the Enlightenment and the birth of liberty Introduction : general context."— Presentation transcript:

1 18th century England, the Enlightenment and the birth of liberty Introduction : general context

2 "If one looks at all closely at the middle of our own century, the events that occupy us, our customs, our achievements and even our topics of conversation, it is difficult not to see that a very remarkable change in several respects has come into our ideas; a change which, by its rapidity, seems to us to foreshadow another still greater. Time alone will tell the aim, the nature and limits of this revolution, whose inconveniences and advantages our posterity will recognize better than we can". Jean Le Rond dAlembert

3 Introduction : general context a) the age of Enlightenment : a general description b) Reason as the cornerstone of human development c) Progress in sciences, philosophy and ideas -Liberty, knowledge and empiricism -The scientific method applied to all forms of knowledge -Criticism as the most effective weapon against credulity -Optimism and Progress

4 a) the age of Enlightenment : a general description Immanuel Kant: What is Enlightenment?

5 b) Reason as the cornerstone of human development The Queen of the Night, embodying irrationality and obscurantism in Mozarts opera « The Magic flute »

6 c) Progress in sciences, philosophy and ideas -Liberty, knowledge and empiricism -The scientific method applied to all forms of knowledge -Criticism as the most effective weapon against credulity -Optimism and Progress

7 Francis Bacon ( ) John Locke ( )

8 I. Political liberty : end of autocratic rule, individual liberties and equality a)How and why did the 1688 Glorious Revolution (among others) take place? The Glorious Revolution : a brief summary John Locke, the notion of liberty, the Glorious Revolution and Parliamentary power b) The claim for individual liberties : the example of John Wilkes c) Emergence of the notion of equality : Thomas Paine's Rights of Man Women's fate Slavery and the situation of Black slaves Pocket and rotten boroughs : inequality in the right to vote d) Territorial liberty and national sovereignty : the Napoleonic Wars

9 a) How and why did the 1688 Glorious Revolution (among others) take place? The Glorious Revolution : a brief summary John Locke, the notion of liberty, the Glorious Revolution and Parliamentary power

10 b) The claim for individual liberties : the example of John Wilkes John Wilkes by William Hogarth, 1763.

11 c) Emergence of the notion of equality : Thomas Paine's Rights of Man - Women's fate - Slavery and the situation of Black slaves - Pocket and rotten boroughs : inequality in the right to vote

12 Early feminists Mary Astell, A Serious Proposal to the Ladies (1697): « The vilest slavery »and Reflections upon Marriage (1700) : « If all men are born free, how is it that all women are born slaves ? » Catherine Macaulay, Letters on Education (1790) Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1790)

13 Pocket and rotten boroughs rotten borough : a parliamentary constituency with a very small population yet which returned one or two MPs to Parliament pocket borough : a parliamentary constituency with a very small electorate under the control of a landowner

14 Joseph Priestley Essay on the Principles of Government (1768) Priestley criticised the Test Acts (1673 and 78) which denied civil rights to the non-Anglicans (=Non-Conformists/Dissenters) Priestleys action triggered the creation of radical movements whose aim was to enfranchise a larger part of the population 1832, 1867, 1884, 1918 and 1928 reform Acts

15 d) Territorial liberty and national sovereignty : the Napoleonic Wars

16 II. Economic liberty : free trade, political economy and the industrial revolution a) The Laissez-faire theory and the notion of economic liberty b) Adam Smith ( ) and the development of political economy c) David Ricardo ( ) and the further development of political economy d) The industrial revolution e) Appearance of a free and industrious class: the middle class

17 a) The Laissez-faire theory and the notion of economic liberty Anne-Robert-Jacques Turgot ( )

18 Laissez-faire : a French slogan Vincent de Gournay and the school of physiocrats : « laissez faire et laissez passer, le monde va de lui-même » Mercantilism : economic theory based on the notion that state interventions and monopoly are essential Economic liberalism : the opposite of mercantilism

19 b) Adam Smith ( ) and the development of political economy Adam Smith

20 Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations (1776) « Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition » « Every man, as long as he does not violate the laws of justice, is left perfecly free to pursue his own interest his own way » Division of labour « Invisible hand »

21 c) David Ricardo ( ) and the further development of political economy

22 David Ricardo On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation (1817)

23 d) The industrial revolution

24 Industrial Revolution(s) First Industrial Revolution : late 18th century Second Industrial Revolution : mid-19th century

25 Inventions of the late 18th century In 1764 James Hargreaves invented the spinning jenny In the late 1780s the steam engine was invented In 1756 concrete was re-discovered by John Smeaton John Harriss Lexicon Technicum or a Universal English Dictionary of Arts and Sciences

26 Late 18th century The rapid growth of such towns as Birmingham or Liverpool owed them the nickname « Mushroom towns ». Manchester, whose economy and development were based on cotton, was called « cottonopolis »

27 e) Appearance of a free and industrious class: the middle class Robert Owen (the New Lanark Mills) and Josiah Wedgwood

28 Josiah Wedgwoods cameo : « Am I not a man and a brother? »

29 III. Liberty in aesthetics and arts a) Reflections on taste b) Romanticism as the triumph of liberty in art c) The re-discovery of Nature and the rise of the Sublime

30 a) Reflections on taste Francis Hutcheson Joshua Reynolds

31 b) Romanticism as the triumph of liberty in art

32 Wordsworths sonnet in the memory of Toussaint L'Ouverture, a black rebel who led the insurrection in Saint-Domingue in 1791 and died in France in 1803 : Though fallen thyself, never to rise again, Live and take comfort. Thou hast left behind Powers that will work for thee; air, earth, skies; There's not breath of the common wind That will forget thee; thou hast great allies; Thy friends are exultations, agonies, And Love, and man's unconquerable mind.

33 William Blake illustrated a book by John Gabriel Stedman, a British- Dutch soldier, published in 1796, entitled The Narrative of a Five Years Expedition against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam.

34 c) The re-discovery of Nature and the rise of the Sublime

35 The re-discovery of Nature and the rise of the Sublime : Joseph Mallord William Turner's "The Devil's Bridge »and "Fishermen at sea"

36 The rise of the Sublime « The Night-mare », Henry Fuseli

37 General Conclusion


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