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An Essay On The Period Of The Enligtenment

1020 words - 5 pages

The EnlightenmentThe age of Enlightenment took Europe by storm in the 18th century. History at this time was experiencing a change that it had never seen before. People began to questioned once unquestionable beliefs about religion and society. During the Enlightenment, most theories of power and authority were based on the relationship between humans and the sad state in which they lived. This trend was intensified by the practice of absolutism which was a way of life which increased the power of the central state. The rise of modern science and the aftermath of the long religious conflict that followed the reformation, greatly influenced the enlightenment. The Enlightenment was an age of ...view middle of the document...

These changes greatly changed the human experience of every other aspect of life. Empirical thinking was introduced to the enlightenment. English philosophers such as Isaac Newton and Voltaire began by doubting everything. People of the time took the ideas of the philosophers as there own and began questioning how and why things happened around them. They stopped accepting that it was happening because there is a higher power or because it just is, the people wanted to know why. Sir Isaac Newton was most famous for his gravitational theories, Newton defined the era by exercising his power to reason, to think, to observe and to conclude. In his life he discovered gravity, invented the calculus, and developed his theory on light and colors. Newton became respected as a mathematician, and a philosopher. He once said, "If it seems I see farther than other, it is because I stand on the shoulders of Giants." There were also many great leaders of the time such as, Frederick the Great who was king of Prussia from 1740 to 1786. Under his leadership , Prussia became one of the greatest states of Europe. Next, Louis XIV became the king of France at the age of 23. Louis was referred to as the "Sun King" , as the planets were seen to revolve around the sun in the new cosmology of the scientific revolution. Voltaire who was a philosophical writer, criticized France and its rule King Louis XIV. Voltaire struggled with the idea of god. He felt that God was necessary to explain the universe and life, to justify morality and to act as a policeman for the despised common people. Voltaire believed that the secret to happiness was to " cultivate one's garden". Instead of seeking out a perfect society, he believed that the philosophies should attempt to perfect the society in which they already lived. He opposed democracy. This was due to his fear of giving the masses too much power, as they were generally uneducated and, in his opinion, "unenlightened". Candid was Voltaire's most famous book, published in 1759. Many people took...

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