How Did The Role Of Women Change During The Enlightenment?

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Over the years, there has been a significant change in the way the world thinks. People wanted this change to escape the absolutism of the government and church. In the eighteenth century, people now known as “Enlightenment philosophers” started speaking their opinions on self-reliance, liberty, and freedom. People all over the world took their ideas to heart and started to practically apply them. This was called the Enlightenment and it brought about long-lasting crucial changes and freedoms for people.
During the Enlightenment, people began to question traditional values and beliefs, creating a shift in thinking that moved away from reliance on tradition and religion and instead towards self-reliance. Various Enlightenment thinkers, such …show more content…

More in the later years of the Enlightenment, women believed that the Enlightenment ideals were not only for men but they also had the right to be educated and have freedoms. The statement “Men, indeed, appear to me to act in a very unphilosophic manner when they try to secure the good conduct of women by attempting to keep them always in a state of childhood…”(Wider Impact of Enlightenment) are the inspiring words of Mary Wollstonecraft. Unafraid to speak their opinions because of the changing times, women finally started speaking up against the inequality they were experiencing. The arguments women made during this period had a long-lasting impact, eventually leading to the complete freedom of women in some places. The Enlightenment also saw significant modifications to economic beliefs and practices. Adam Smith, also known as the champion of “Perfect Liberty,” stated, “Every man…is left perfectly free to pursue his own interests in his own way…As every individual therefore, endeavors as much as he can both to employ his capital in support of …industry, and so direct that industry that its produce may be of greatest value…(contributes to) the annual revenue of society...”(Wider Impact of Enlightenment) He believed this theory, also known as the “Invisible Hand,” would prove most effective. If people used their new freedom provided by the Enlightenment to go against Mercantilism and work and sell their products independently, society would benefit for the better. Thousands of people took his advice and this system was put into place all over the world. Surprisingly, throughout the Enlightenment, religious freedom finally began to occur. Voltaire once said, “If one religion only were allowed in England, the government would very possibly become arbitrary; if there were but two, the people would cut

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