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Honors World History Chapter 5 The Age of Enlightenment
Scientific Revolution Sparks the Enlightenment By the early 1700s, European thinkers felt that nothing was beyond the reach of the human mind. Through the use of reason, insisted these thinkers, people, and governments could solve every social, political, and economic problem. In essence, these writers, scholars, and philosophers felt they could change the world.
Scientific Revolution Sparks the Enlightenment The Scientific Revolution of the 1500s and 1600s had transformed the way people in Europe looked at the world. Scientific successes convinced educated Europeans of the power of human reason. Natural laws= rules discoverable by reason, govern scientific forces such as gravity and magnetism.
Hobbes and Locke Have Conflicting Views Thomas HobbesJohn Locke
The “Enlightened” Individual The Philosophe ► Not really original thinkers as a whole, but were great publicists of the new thinking CHANGE & PROGRESS! ► They were students of society who analyzed its evils and advanced reforms.
Setting the Scene Paris, the heart of the Enlightenment, drew many intellectuals and others eager to debate the new ideas. Even an enemy of the Enlightenment admitted that, “an opinion launched in Paris was like a battering ram bunching by 30 million men.”
Enlightened Despots: absolute monarchs who used their power to bring about political and social change. Even absolute monarchs experimented with Enlightenment ideas, although they drew back when changes threatened the established way of doing things.
The Challenge of New Ideas Educated people all over Europe eagerly read not only Diderot’s Encyclopedia but also the small, cheap pamphlets that printers churned out on a broad range of issues. During the Middle Ages, most Europeans had accepted without question a society based on divine- right rule, a strict class system, a belief in heavenly reward for earthly suffering
In the Age of Reason, such ideas seemed unscientific and irrational. A just society, Enlightenment thinkers taught, should ensure social justice and happiness in the world.
Censorship Government and church felt they had a sacred duty to defend the old order. They believed that the old order had been set up by God. To protect against the attacks of the Enlightenment they waged a war of censorship, or restricting access to ideas and information. They banned and burned books and imprisoned writers.
Philosophes and writers like Montesquieu and Voltaire sometimes disguised their ideas in works of fiction. Voltaire Montesquieu
Salons The new literature, the arts, science, and philosophy were regular topics of discussion in salons, informal social gatherings at which writers, artists, philosophes, and others exchanged ideas.
Enlightened Despots Discussions of the Enlightenment ideas also enlivened the courts of Europe. Philosophes believed if they could “enlighten” the ruling classes, they thought, they could bring about reform. Some monarchs did accept Enlightenment ideas. They became enlightened despots, or absolute rulers who used their power to bring about political and social change.
Frederick the Great of Prussia (r. 1740-1786) ► Admired Voltaire’s work ► Made many reforms- kingdom became more efficient ► Reorganized the civil service & simplified laws ► He saw himself as the “First Servant of the State.”
Frederick the Great King of Prussia from 1740 to 1786. Saw himself as the “first servant of the state,” with a duty to work for the common good. His reforms were directed mainly at making the Prussian government more efficient. He reorganized the civil service and simplified laws.
Catherine the Great (r. 1762-1796) ► Exchanged letters with Voltaire & Diderot. ► Made some limited reforms in law & government. ► Granted nobles a charter of rights and criticized the institution of serfdom.
Catherine the Great Catherine II of Russia read the works of philosophes and exchanged letters with Voltaire and Diderot. Like Frederick in Prussia, Catherine intended to give up no power. In the end, her political contribution to Russia was not reform but an expanded empire.
Joseph II of Austria (r. 1765-1790) ► His mother was Maria Theresa (below picture) ► Leader of the Hapsburg Empire ► Traveled in disguise among his subjects to learn their problems ► Granted toleration to Protestants & Jews in his Catholic Empire.
Joseph II Most radical of the enlightened despots was the Hapsburg emperor Joseph II, son and successor of Maria Theresa. Joseph traveled in disguise among his subjects to learn of their problems. His efforts to improve their lives won him the nickname the “peasant emperor.” He continued his mother’s reforms. He granted toleration to Protestants and Jews in his Catholic empire. He ended censorship and attempted to bring the Catholic Church under royal control. He sold the property of many monasteries and convents and used the proceeds to build hospitals. Joseph even abolished serfdom.
The Arts and Literature Courtly ArtMiddle Class Audience Trends in MusicThe Novel
The American “Philosophes” John Adams (1745-1826) Ben Franklin (1706-1790) Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) …...…life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…………...