9-27-10 History Notes

9-27-10 History Notes - History 123 Notes The Enlightenment...

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9/27/2010 History 123 Notes The Enlightenment The Enlightenment was an intellectual movement in the 18 th century. Normally time periods were labeled after they occurred but the Enlightenment was labeled during its own time period. It started with primary thinkers in London and Paris that wanted to pursue the quest to educate people. The periods in the past gave inspiration and ideas to the enlightenment thinkers and they studied these ideas. To people of the enlightenment everything revolved around human reason. Human reason was the basis of EVERYTHING. Related Concepts: 1. Belief in Universal Human rights. o During the scientific revolution the idea that natural laws are universal (gravity laws apply everywhere) inspired thinkers of the Enlightenment to take this idea one step further and apply universality of natural laws (including human rights). o If there are natural laws that apply in science there must be similar laws that explain human relations and find laws that would soon take over existing laws and govern the people. o This idea challenged all notions of traditional authority (ex: absolutism) o Enlighteners hoped universal laws would be the basis for government and human relations. o To come up with these ideas, they relied on the thinkers before them to find inspiration. John Locke (lived and wrote during the 17 th century) had writings become very important and inspirational during the 18 th century. His writings opposed authoritarianism and viewed this opposition on an individual level and on an institutional level (ex: church, gov’t, etc) o Each person needs to use reason to search for truth rather than just accept what authorities say as the truth.
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o He argued for certain, natural and unalienable rights: life, liberty and property and suggested it was the government’s role to protect the rights of the people and people had the right to dispose of the government that does not protect those rights. 2. Belief in the evitablility of progress:
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This note was uploaded on 02/11/2011 for the course HIST 123 taught by Professor Carney during the Fall '10 term at Ohio University- Athens.

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9-27-10 History Notes - History 123 Notes The Enlightenment...

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