Presentation on theme: "18th century England, the Enlightenment and the birth of liberty"— 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 d’Alembert
3 Introduction : general context a) the age of Enlightenment : a general descriptionb) Reason as the cornerstone of human developmentc) Progress in sciences, philosophy and ideasLiberty, knowledge and empiricismThe scientific method applied to all forms of knowledgeCriticism as the most effective weapon against credulityOptimism 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, embodyingirrationality and obscurantism inMozart’s opera « The Magic flute »
6 c) Progress in sciences, philosophy and ideas Liberty, knowledge and empiricismThe scientific method applied to all forms of knowledgeCriticism as the most effective weapon against credulityOptimism and Progress
8 b) The claim for individual liberties : the example of John Wilkes I. Political liberty : end of autocratic rule, individual liberties and equalityHow and why did the 1688 Glorious Revolution (among others) take place?The Glorious Revolution : a brief summaryJohn Locke, the notion of liberty, the Glorious Revolution and Parliamentary powerb) The claim for individual liberties : the example of John Wilkesc) Emergence of the notion of equality : Thomas Paine's Rights of ManWomen's fateSlavery and the situation of Black slavesPocket and rotten boroughs : inequality in the right to voted) 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 summaryJohn 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 feministsMary 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 Parliamentpocket 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)Priestley’s action triggered the creation of radical movements whose aim was to enfranchise a larger part of the population1832, 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 libertyb) Adam Smith ( ) and the development of political economyc) David Ricardo ( ) and the further development of political economyd) The industrial revolutione) 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 essentialEconomic liberalism : the opposite of mercantilism
19 b) Adam Smith (1723-1790) and the development of political economy
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 (1772-1823) and the further development of political economy
22 David RicardoOn the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation (1817)
24 Industrial Revolution(s) First Industrial Revolution : late 18th centurySecond Industrial Revolution : mid-19th century
25 Inventions of the late 18th century In 1764 James Hargreaves invented the spinning jennyIn the late 1780s the steam engine was inventedIn 1756 concrete was re-discovered by John SmeatonJohn Harris’s Lexicon Technicum or a Universal English Dictionary of Arts and Sciences
26 Late 18th centuryThe 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 Wedgwood’s cameo : « Am I not a man and a brother? »
29 III. Liberty in aesthetics and arts a) Reflections on tasteb) Romanticism as the triumph of liberty in artc) 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 Wordsworth’s 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 riseagain,Live and take comfort. Thou hast leftbehindPowers that will work for thee; air,earth, skies;There's not breath of the common windThat will forget thee; thou hast greatallies;Thy friends are exultations, agonies,And Love, and man's unconquerablemind.
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 Night-mare », Henry Fuseli The rise of the Sublime« The Night-mare », Henry Fuseli