EnlightenmentSpring2012 - The Enlightenment Basic Features...

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Unformatted text preview: The Enlightenment Basic Features Sources: Duiker and Spielvogel, World History, Forth Edition Euan Cameron. Early Modern Europe. An Oxford History, 1999; Jonathan Israel, Radical Enlightenment, 2001. What is the Enlightenment? A movement of intellectuals who were greatly impressed with the accomplishments of the Scientific Revolution. Application of the scientific method to the understanding of all life. Key concepts: reason, natural law, hope, progress. What is the Enlightenment?(2) Moderate Enlightenment: – Modernization through philosophy but not through the change of the older structures. – Harmonization of reason and faith, old and new systems. What is the Enlightenment? (3) Radical Enlightenment: – Atheistic or deistic but strongly rejecting the past and its structures. – Denying the intervention of a Providential God – Denying core religious beliefs – Scorning all forms of ecclesiastical authority – Refusing to accept that there is any Godordained social hierarchy and concentration of privilege and power What is the Enlightenment? (4) The representatives of this movement were called in France the philosophes Recent Scholarship emphasizes the impact of the philosopher Baruch Spinoza in the writings of the philosophes and in the whole historical process Baruch Spinoza, 1632-1677 Voltaire Francois-Marie Arouet, 1694-1778 The greatest figure of the French Enlightenment. Prolific author. Wrote pamphlets, novels, plays, letters, philosophical essays, and histories. The first “bestselling author”. Well known for his criticism of traditional religion and his strong attachment to the ideal of religious toleration. The Wit of Voltaire If there were no God, it would be necessary to invent him. Enlightenment-Social and Economic Conditions Population in Europe: From 120 million in 1700 to 190 million in 1790. Disappearance of bubonic plague. Improvement in agricultural practices and methods. Food production increased. Cultivation of new vegetables, including potato and corn. Most important European industry: textiles Enlightenment-Social and Economic Conditions (2) Overseas trade boomed Emergence of a true global economy interlocking Europe, Africa, Far East and the Americas. Rise of France and England as economic powers in Europe. ...
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