The Enlightenment was a European intellectual movement of the late 17th and 18th centuries that emphasized the use of reason and individualism. It was mostly influenced by Descartes, Locke, and Newton. The idea of enlightened absolutism valued reason rather than faith. Enlightened monarchs had total control but embraced rationality. Being an enlightened ruler meant allowing religious tolerance, freedom of speech, and the right to hold private property. The so-called enlightened rulers of the 18th century included Catherine the Great, Joseph II, and Frederick the Great. Joseph II ruled with more enlightened ideas than the other too but he lacked to make a long lasting changes during his reign. But to what extent did these rulers actually rule with enlightened absolutism?
In France, the Enlightenment helped influence the French Revolution because the third estate, noticed that their basic right wasn’t being met. Specifically, the bourgeoisie, which was the growing merchant/professional class were well educated and familiar with the writings of philosophes like Locke, Montesquieu, and Rousseau. It was the bourgeoisie class that was educated, yet they didn’t have privileges like the First and Second Estate consequently, they began to question if there should be a social and political change in France. John Locke is an example of a philosophe who helped shape the outline of the French Revolution because he said that if people are dissatisfied with their governments, they should overthrow them, so they could create a new government. In Haiti, the enlightenment helped shape the Haitian revolution because ideas like freedom and liberty inspired them to bring
The ideas of the Enlightenment shaped the revolutions of the late seventeen hundreds in numerous ways. Because of the Enlightenment, people began to question their surrounding, leading to the separation of religion and the monarchy. This was vital because it lessened the strength of the monarchy. The Enlightenment allowed people to see that they had certain rights that they were given at birth, and that no one, not even the monarchy, could take these rights away. These basic rights are the foundations of most standing constitutions to date.
The French Revolution was one of the most significant wars that changed France’s history. The Revolution started in 1789 and ended in 1799 and was mainly initiated by the conditions affecting the Third Estate. Louis XVI was predominately the king during this time period but little did he know that an uprising among the peasants was happening. The French Revolution was caused by the Enlightenment ideas because of the American Revolution, the knowledge of rights, and the questioning of France’s government. The American Revolution was basically the “fire” that ignited the change the Third Estate wanted to see in their country. The French people’s knowledge of their rights led them to believe that it is possible to achieve fairness and be respected in their own province. And lastly, the idea of questioning France’s government had peasants discover that their king barely even cared about their well-being and restricted them of representation.
The ideas of the Enlightenment influenced the American Revolution and the formation of the American Government. Firstly, The Enlightenment was a philosophical evolution that emphasized the aged ideas of the Greeks and Romans. In addition, the major philosophers of this time period were Voltaire, John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Rousseau, Adam Smith and Isaac Newton. Their ideals include having an absolute monarch as a government (T.H), the separation of powers (Mont.), the government should not interfere with a free market economy (A.S), the freedom of speech (Volt.), the government could be overruled (J.L), and the government should rule according to the will of the people. Nevertheless, these ideals are important because they shaped the government that we have today. Therefore, these ideals massively aroused the
French Revolution, starting in the year 1789, was the movement that shook France between the years 1787 and 1799. The French Revolution had many causes. There were many easy fixes the government could have done, if they had fixed them, it could have prevented the revolution. Some of the most important causes were unfair taxes, social classes and last but not least the bankrupt state. I believe one of the biggest causes was the unfair taxes.
The French Revolution and the Egyptian Revolution have some similar ideals as Enlightenment had. The philosophes had varying ideas of government and what should happen in society. This essay will compare the actions of the revolutions to the ideas of the philosophes and ideals of Enlightenment.
The Enlightenment was a period of time that stressed the importance of reason and individual ideas. Many philosophers published works criticizing a country’s monarch or divulging the flaws they saw in a system within the government, such as the justice system. The Enlightenment also stressed the importance of education, and as a result of this, literacy rates experienced a major upward trend. Now able to read the philosopher’s works, a larger sum of people now were educated on the corruptions within their government. This caused a questioning of traditional practices, and people began to believe they could revise their government. These new ideas played as a catalyst to acts of resistance, or in a broader retrospect, the French Revolution.
Enlightenment was a concept that inspired a new way of thinking of the people. In the newly formed United States of America, enlightenment shaped the way the new government was run. Scientific reasoning was applied to politics, religion, and science. Enlightenment saved music, art, and literature programs in colleges. Enlightenment in Europe led to drastically altered views on philosophy, politics, and communications. While enlightenment was the same revolution in thinking around the world, the ideas it brought were not always the same. For example, French enlightenment had different approaches to thinking than American enlightenment. Because of this, the two countries new governments were run on different ideologies.
In conclusion, the Enlightenment was vital to the American Revolution and the creation of American Government. The Enlightenment beliefs that influenced the American Revolution were natural rights, the social contract, and the right to overthrow the government if the social contract was violated. The Enlightenment beliefs that aided to the creation of the American government were separation of powers, checks and balances, and limited government. As stated before, without the Enlightenment there would not have been a revolution, resulting in no American Government. The Enlightenment’s influence on the creation of America is irrefutable. Although there are more beliefs and ideas that came from the Enlightenment that have influenced America, the
The Enlightenment was a period during the eighteenth century that brought new attitudes toward reform, faith, and reason in the governments of Europe. The Enlightenment had a massive effect on the Western Civilization. The Enlightenment brought new ideas about government that inspired the Founding Fathers and the French revolutionaries. The Enlightenment also gave birth to the ideas of free trade and it also shifted economic reliance from agriculture to industrial products. This transformation led to beginning of the globalization of Europe. The Enlightenment also started the religious idea of Deism, which states both religion and reason could be combined to give rise to new
I agree that the Enlightenment was force for positive change in society. The Enlightenment was one was the most important intellectual movements in History, as it dominated and influenced the way people thought in Europe in the late 17th and 18th centuries. We will look at how it ultimately influenced the American and French Revolution which is still strongly governed by these ideas and principles today.
“God, who has given the world to men in common, has also given them reason to make use of it to the best advantage of life and convenience” (Locke, 35). The Scientific Revolution concentrated on understanding the physical world through astronomical and mathematical calculations, or testable knowledge. The Enlightenment focused more on “Spreading of faith in reason and in universal rights and laws” (Worlds Together, Worlds Apart, 535). While the Scientific Revolution preceded the Enlightenment, both time periods sought to limit and challenge the power of the Church, through the spread of science, reason and intellect, and political philosophies.
Everyone has dreams and desires, but achieving those dreams and desires usually ends up hurting others and creating something unwanted. It is seen throughout our history like the French Revolution and displayed in many sources of literature such as “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley. Frankenstein was published in 1818, sometime after the French Revolution ended which was in 1799 and both the war and the book have many instances that relate to each other. Although Shelley had published the book quite some time after the Revolution, there are ideas in the book “Frankenstein” that come from the French Revolution.
The Intellectual movement known as the Enlightenment occupies an important position in the growth of Western civilization. How it totally affected society, especially French society is a subject of debate, from the beginning of the Revolution to today. In fact, two schools of interpretation are involved.