HI 17 - Chapter 17 1 Formative Influences on the...

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Chapter 17 1) Formative Influences on the Enlightenment a) Ideas of Newton and Locke i) Ideas from some of the natural philosophers of the scientific revolution persuaded people start challenging the traditions of the ancient and medieval worlds. ii) Newton’s formulation of gravitation was rational and got people thinking about society being rational. iii) Locke argued that all people enter the world a tabula rasa , or blank page. iv) Locke believed that experience shapes ones character so that people can take charge of their own destiny. b) The Example of British Toleration and Political Stability i) Liberal policies in Great Britain had produced neither disorder nor instability, but rather economic prosperity, and a loyal citizenry. ii) England was used to contrast other countries that weren’t as organized or prosperous. c) The Emergence of a Print Culture i) During the 18 th century, the volume of printed materials rose dramatically and the novel emerged as a distinct literary genre. ii) Because more people were literate, the printed word became the chief vehicle for communicating information and ideas. iii) There was a concern though about the decreasing number of religious books. iv) The number of public and private libraries expanded. v) Being an author paid enough to become an occupation and status of authors were based on merit and commercial competition. vi) The new print culture also gave way to a social force called public opinion. 2) The Philosophes a) The writers and critics who flourished in the expanding print culture were known as the Philosophes. b) They were not an organized group and the disagreed on many issues. c) They generally supported the expansion of trade, the improvement of agriculture and transport, and the invention of new manufacturing machinery. d) Their chief bond was the common desire to reform religion, political thought, society, government, and the economy for the sake of human liberty. e) Voltaire-First Among the Philosophes i) He offended the French monarch and nobles with his poetry and plays and was forced to take refuge in England. ii) With the help of his mistress, Emilie de Chatelet, he published Elements of the Philosophy of Newton . iii) He has to move around a lot to keep away from the authorities but continued to criticize French and European life.
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