The Enlightenment was the golden era of new self-thinking and personal action. Intellectuals began to challenge ideas of the old monarchy rule, which paved way for others to start revolutions all over Europe.
: people were radically trying to change society; used reason and scientific inquiry, believed that humans could be improved through education; governments should rule by reason and law and consent of people, not force. Reason: turn not to faith but
the mind. tools. experience: the material on which reason works, material beneath corruptions, nature, the past. Progress: critical use of reason to advance toward more humane conditions. benchmark for ideas, political theories.
Science and natural history become
popular (Newton), toleration of other religions, encyclopedias made to change way of thinking; romantic poetry, novel became important (middle class grows in reading, literacy rate grows), empowered individuals who want to get away from dependence and become
intellectual (Kant); human rights (Lynn Hunt); third estate.
“doubt is the key to knowledge” (Descartes).
“Experience is the source of knowledge.”
“…the people wishes to be something, and, in truth, the very least that is possible” (Sieyes).
“Formerly the third estate
was serf, the noble order everything.
Today the third estate is everything, the nobility but a word” (Sieyes).
People are born as blank slates, all can be good.
Environments make them bad, education is how people become better, public education.
New public spheres,
people had new culture of debate (salons).
“If people are given freedom, Enlightenment will follow.
: rejected ideas of Enlightenment; ignored human rights.
economy: searched for raw materials, minerals and food for homeland, cheap, mass produced
food, developed other countries, but didn’t want to lose control.
Instability of politics in colonized areas, forced Christianity and White culture upon non-Western civilized world.
Social Darwinism: justified the “civilizing” of the native peoples.
quality, fraternity”; got rid of the old regime, what the Enlightenment criticized;
Peasants paid heavy taxes (Church, State, Lords) but had no voice in Parliament; Execute King in 1792; Equal representation (oath of tennis court).
: politics were anti-
No freedom, anti-democracy, fueled by propaganda and nationalism. Kant
- “The very first Enlightenment is man’s release from his self incurred tutelage.
Tutelage is man’s inability to make use of his understanding without direction from another.
Self incurred ist his tutelage when its cause lies not in the lack of reason but in lack of resolution and courage to use it without direction from another. “
Both countries attempted to abolish the laws of the old regime by unting the working class, however, once the revolutions were successful the French and Russian leaders seized power by the means of terror.
French Rev/Russ Rev: