he told people to “Dare to know? Have the courage to use your own intelligence!” This became the ‘motto’ of the Enlightenment, which consisted of philosophers who dared to know. This meant that they used scientific principles and reason as a means of discovering new things and about how the world around them functioned.
2. James Cook’s Travels
one of many books about travel from the eighteenth century.
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It told of the discovery of Tahiti, New Zealand, and Australia. Travel literature was becoming increasingly popular as they showed the culture and practices of other areas of the world. One major idea that was found was that of the “natural man” or “noble savage” who was much happier than Europeans, even if they didn’t have many luxuries. Travel books also brought about exposure to the cultures and religions of the new areas. Cultural relativism popped up as people began to realize that no one culture was superior to another, but just what different regions believed. Seeing new religions, though, just caused more religious skepticism (some questioning of faith had already begun because popularizers had cast the church as the enemy of science and there were many book criticizing religion).
The Christian perception of God was just one of many, and not necessarily the right perception of God.
3. John Lock’s tabula rasa
this proposed that everybody was born with a blank mind that was modeled and affected by the environment and experiences around somebody.
This was combined with Isaac Newton’s scientific method by the philosophes who then believed that they were capable of changing the world. If they could apply reason to all aspects of life, then change the society, that would change every person in it.
intellectuals of the Enlightenment who believed in applying a spirit of rational criticism to all things, including religion and politics, and who focused on improving and enjoying this world, rather than on the afterlife.
They weren’t just from the nobility, but were also of the middle class. The Enlightenment was an international movement, but criticism of the French government was the biggest as it had the most oppressive. Philosophes were censored, exiled, and put into jail for their work, but they found ways to get around this and their books were made available through back channels.
Montesquieu attacked religion, advocated for religious toleration, was against slaves, and used reason to liberate humans from prejudices in his first book. In his second book he showed three kinds of basic government- republics (for small countries), monarchies (medium countries), and despotism (large countries). He liked the monarchy the best because it had a system of balances and checks that separated the power.
He misinterpreted the English system of government, but still had great ideas. If one person had unchecked power, they were bound to abuse it, so the only way for the government to work right was for it to have separation of power and a system of checks and balances.
Voltaire complimented the English life, especially its freedom of the press, its political freedom, and its religious toleration.
He exaggerated the freedom that they had, but really he was indirectly criticizing the extremely oppressive French government. He was specifically known for his criticism on traditional religion and advocating religious toleration. He also was a huge supporter of deism.
a religious belief that God had created the world and then left (based on the Newtonian world-machine).
The world was set into motion by God, but then left to run according to its own natural laws.
8. Denis Diderot’s Encyclopedia
Diderot was against the religion of Christianity. His biggest contribution, though, was the 28 volume Encyclopedia he made. Its purpose was the “change the general way of thinking” and became a big tool for philosophes.
He shared the beliefs of the other philosophes that there should be religious toleration and a more free society. He contributed to the spread of knowledge in the Enlightenment.
9. David Hume
David Hume was the main contributor to the “new science of man”. He studied and examined the experiences that constituted human life to deduce natural laws that applied to humans. He believed that it was really possible to find the natural laws that governed humans.
This was the foundation of modern social sciences.
The physiocrats claimed they would discover the natural economic laws that governed humans society and suggested a land (or agriculture) based economy. Even the government should only taxon land because it was the only thing that could increase wealth. It strayed immensely from the mercantilist stress on money as the source of wealth.
The other main contribution the phsyiocrats had was on government role in economy. They suggested that there be free trade and no government control over economy.
11. Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations
Scottish philosopher published this book with three main principles: condemned mercantilist use of tariffs to protect home industries (if one country can supply another country with a product cheaper than that country can make it, that country should just buy it), labor constituted the wealth of a nation, and laissez-faire. Smith went on to describe the role of government as three basic functions: to protect society from invasion (army), defend individuals from injustice and oppression (police), and keep up certain public works such as roads and canals that individuals couldn’t afford.
“hands off” policy regarding the government’s role in economy by Adam Smith.
It stated that an economy is best served when the government doesn’t interfere buy allows the economy to self-regulate according to the forces of supply and demand.
13. Baron d’Holbach
wealthy German aristocrat who settled in Paris who preached a doctrine of strict atheism and materialism. He argued that everything in the universe consisted of matter in motion. Human deings were simply machines and God was a product of the human mind.
People should not commit crimes because they will pay for it on this earth rather than in heaven. This scared most other philosophes because they feared people would just turn to violence to get whatever they wanted and wasn’t very popular then.
14. Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Rousseau’s ideas stemmed from the early, primitive condition of man that was happy. There were no laws and everybody was equal.
Then somebody went and staked a claim, creating the need for government. He wanted a social contract that basically had the entire society agree to be governed by its general will. The general will represented what was best for the community.
All the people had to do was listen to the government, which was only to act in the interest of the general will. The other main idea Rousseau was the importance of the heart and following personal or emotional interests (eventually called Romanticism). There should be a balance between the mind and heart.
15. Mary Astell
she was the daughter of a wealthy English coal merchand and argued that women needed to become better educated and there should be equality of the sexes in marriage. If absolute sovereignty no longer existed in government then why should it exist in family life?
16. Mary Wollstonecraft
she is viewed by many as the founder of modern European feminism. She pointed out contradictions in the views of women held by Enlightenment thinkers.
She reiterated the point that if there’s no political sovereignty then there shouldn’t be between men and women. She then stated their belief that reason is innate in all humans, including women, so they are entitled to the same rights that men have. She said that women should have equal rights with men in education and in economic and political life as well.
17. The salon and the coffeehouse
gatherings of philosophes and other notables to discuss the ideas of the Enlightenment; so called from the elegant drawing rooms (salons) where they met. Women were the hostesses and sometimes then got a say in the decisions of kings, political opinion, and literary and artistic taste. Salons promoted conversation and sociability between upper class men and women as a well as spreading the ideas of the Enlightenment. Coffeehouses were also gathering places for the elite and had newspapers.
18. Marie-Therese de Geoffrin
She was wealthy bourgeois widow whose father had been a valet who welcomed encyclopedists to her salon and offered financial assistance to complete the work in secret. Basically a salon hostess.
It was very unlike the Baroque style seen in the previous century. Rococo emphasized grace and gentle action. It rejected geometrical patterns and contained curvy lines. The new art was highly secular, very bright/light, and expressed the pursuit of pleasure, happiness, and love. This art represented the way the upper class viewed themselves as elite and great.
The separation of the social classes was becoming more and more distinct throughout this era and rococo showed this. It also represented the anti-religious sentiment that many experienced during the Enlightenment.
20. Jacques-Louis David
famous neoclassicism artist from the Enlightenment. His most famous piece the Oath of the Horatii showed the three Horatius brothers swearing an oath before their father, proclaiming their willingness to sacrifice their lives for their country. His style contained moral seriousness and emphasis on honor and patriotism, making him extremely popular during the French revolution.
21. Johann Sebastian Bach
composer of the Baroque music style.
He came from a musical family and held the post of organist and music director at small German courts before he was a director of church music at the church of saint Thomas in Leipzig. While he was there, he composed many of his most famous works which have established his reputation as one of the greatest composers of all time. He believed that music was a way to worship God, therefore his music was highly religious
22. George Frederick Handel
another Baroque composer who was very secular in his works. He lived most of his adult life in England attempting to run an opera company.
He was patronized by English royal court, but he wrote music for large public audiences and wrote huge, unusual-sounding pieces. Although most of his work was secular, Handel is actually best known for his religious music (Messiah).
23. Franz Joseph Haydn
orchestra didn’t come about until the second half of the eighteenth century when new instruments like the piano appeared. Because of Haydn and Mozart, the musical center of Europe shifted from Italy and Germany to the Austrian Empire. Haydn spent most of his adult life as a musical director for the wealthy Hungarian princes, the Esterhazy brothers. He was extremely prolific and his visits to England introduced him to public concerts. This caused him to write a couple of pieces directed to the common people.
24. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
he was a child prodigy who gave his first performance at age six and wrote his first opera at twelve. He wanted a patron, but the over demanding archbishop of Salzburg forced him to move to Vienna, where he could never find a permanent patron, making his life miserable.
Nevertheless, he wrote a huge amount of works until he died bankrupt at the age of 35. He brought the concerto, symphony, and opera to their peaks. The Marriage of Figaro, The Magic Flute, and Don Giovanni are three of the world’s greatest operas. He composed with an ease of melody and a blend of grace, precision, and emotion that arguably no one has ever excelled.
25. Edward Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
this book is a good representation of the way people saw the world during the Enlightenment. It stated that the main cause of the fall of Rome was the growth of Christianity.
This blaming Christianity was common in the writing of history during the Enlightenment and they were also trying to educate people, so the history was made entertaining, probably distorting it some.
26. Addison and Steele’s Spectator
this was one of the most important magazines in Great Britain that begun in 1711.
Its purpose was not only to instruct, but also to entertain (one of the chief goals of the philosophes). They wanted to bring philosophy into the open and have it be accessible for everyone. It praised family, marriage, and courtesy, and also had an appeal to women (The Female Spectator was soon started, which was edited and written by women for women).
27. Newspapers and libraries
daily newspapers were first printed in London in 1702, but soon there were newspapers all over England. They were filled with news and special features and were cheap and available in coffeehouses. The other way that information became readily available was through libraries.
Libraries allowed people to access books, newspapers, and magazines, making information available to everyone.
28. Realshule and Volkshulen
schools in the Enlightenment were meant to keep people confined to their specific social class and just taught the tools of their specific trade. They were still largely being taught classic information, but complaint eventually led to education on modern material. The German Realshule (Berlin 1747) was the first school that offered modern languages, geography, and bookkeeping to prepare boys for careers in business. Schooling also just relied upon the effort of the local community. The Volkshulen of the Habsburg Austrian Empire was the first state-supported primary schools, although only one in four actually attended.
festival of the popular culture that was celebrated in the weeks leading up to the beginning of Lent. It was forty days and was a time of great indulgence. People could eat as much as they wanted and it was a time for increased sexual activity. Also it was a time to release pent up aggression.
It was the one break that the lower class got from working all year.
main form of education for the lower classes. They were printed on cheap paper and contained both spiritual and secular material (lives of saints and inspirational stories complete with crude satires and adventure stories). These showed that popular culture could be passed down through writing, but that was all dependent on the literacy rates of the lower classes.
Joseph II’s Toleration Patent
this is the4 best example of religious toleration. Joseph II of Austria made this and it recognized Catholicism’s public practice, granted Lutherans, Calvinists, and Greek Orthodox the right to worship privately. In all other ways, everybody was equal.
this developed in Germany and was a response to the desire for a deeper personal devotion to God (because deism was all about God being absent from the world around us). A group of German cleric made this in the seventeenth century because they wanted their religion to be more personal. It was spread by Count Nikolaus von Zinzendorf who believed that the mystical dimensions were what constituted real religious experience and he strongly opposed the rational ideas.
33. John Wesley and Methodism
Wesley created Methodism because he underwent a mystical experience. He thought that all could be saved by experiencing God and opening the doors to his grace (and good deeds). He preached in open fields, welcoming the lower classes , where people sometimes had violent conversion experiences. Pietism and Methodism proved that people still needed or wanted spiritual experiences.
1. What specific contributions did Montesquieu, Voltaire, and Diderot make to the age of the Enlightenment? Compare and contrast their political ideas with Thomas Hobbes and Machiavelli.
Montesquieu attacked religion, advocated for religious toleration, was against slaves, and used reason to liberate humans from prejudices in his first book. In his second book he showed three kinds of basic government- republics, monarchies, and despotism. He liked the monarchy the best because it had a system of balances and checks that separated the power. Voltaire complimented the English life, especially its freedom of the press, its political freedom, and its religious toleration. He exaggerated the freedom that they had, but really he was indirectly criticizing the extremely oppressive French government. He was specifically known for his criticism on traditional religion and advocating religious toleration. He also was a huge supporter of deism, a religious belief that God had created the world and then left (based on the Newtonian world-machine). Diderot was against the religion of Christianity.
His biggest contribution, though, was the 28 volume Encyclopedia he made. Its purpose was the “change the general way of thinking” and became a big tool for philosophes. He shared the believe of the other philosophes that there should be religious toleration and a more free society. He contributed to the spread of knowledge in the Enlightenment.
Hobbes and Machiavelli were both in favor of harsher government because their view on humans was a lot more pessimistic. The Enlightenment philosophes and Hobbes and Machiavelli had extremely different political views. The philosophes said that government was supposed to allow freedom while Hobbes said that the sole job of the government was to protect the people from themselves. Their similarities are only in the fact that they acknowledged government is an evil, but necessary.
2. Discuss the significance and the influence of John Locke and Isaac Newton on the Enlightenment.
John Lock proposed the theory that every person is born with a tabula rasa, or blank mind. A person’s knowledge and habits aren’t inherent, but are derived from their environment and the experiences that they receive through their senses from the surrounding world.
This meant that everybody could be changed and bettered if only they could change the society. This is where Newton’s theory comes into play. His scientific method had proved to be successful and the intellectuals of the Enlightenment believed that by following Newton’s rules of reasoning, they could discover the natural laws that governed politics, economics, justice, religion, and the arts. If the scientists could apply this to everything, then everybody could be reformed and they could, theoretically, change the world. It became a major goal of the Enlightenment to figure out how to apply the scientific method to all aspects of the world because of this reason. There was now a plausible way to undo all of the corruption that had occurred in Europe in an attempt to control the people.
3. What new ideas did the philosophes contribute on the following subjects: politics, the “new science of man,” economics, education, and religion?
Montesquieu was a strong believer in separation or balance of power. He suggested that every government share the power and have a system of checks and balances to ensure that the power of the government wasn’t abused. Rousseau liked the idea of a social contract between the people and the government. The people should give their general will to the government because the government would do what is best for the country as a whole, thus what is best for individuals. They really like the ‘freedom’ that England had, and the philosophes were huge critics of the French government.
David Hume was the main contributor to the “new science of man”. He studied and examined the experiences that constituted human life to deduce natural laws that applied to humans. The economic policy shifted from mercantilism toward capitalism. The physiocrats suggested a land (or agriculture) based economy and Adam Smith suggested a labor based (overproduce the other countries) policy. Both of them also encouraged free trade and laissez-faire (hands-off).
They thought the government shouldn’t be involved in regulating the economy at all. Even though the scientific revolution brought new knowledge, they still taught the ancient philosophies in schools. Education taught for specific classes and was meant to make an even bigger line between the upper and middle class. In Germany they made a school for practical knowledge. Almost all of the philosophes were advocates for religious toleration. With exposure to the cultures of the new world and more knowledge, they now thought that every human had the right to believe whatever they want.
What were the major ideas of Jean-Jacques Rousseau? In what ways were Rousseau’s ideas unique, differing from those of his predecessors?
Rousseau’s ideas stemmed from the early, primitive condition of man that was happy. There were no laws and everybody was equal. Then somebody went and staked a claim, creating the need for government. He wanted a social contract that basically had the entire society agree to be governed by its general will. The general will represented what was best for the community. All the people had to do was listen to the government, which was only to act in the interest of the general will.
The other main idea Rousseau was the importance of the heart and following personal or emotional interests (eventually called Romanticism). There should be a balance between the mind and heart. The social contract differed from his predecessors, because all the other philosophes were talking about how much they liked the English system. The romanticism was extremely new. The whole focus of the Enlightenment had been on reason and logic. He was suggesting the opposite should be followed.
What role did women play in the development of the Enlightenment?
Women were the hostesses of the salons where the intellectuals of the Enlightenment came to discuss their ideas. Through this, a few women could get a little influence in the decisions of kings, sway political opinion, and influence literary and artistic taste. A few women who played a big role in the Enlightenment were Mary Astell, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Madame Geoffrin. Astell advocated equality in marriage and education for women. Wollstonecraft also advocated increased education and she wanted women to have equal rights in economic and political life as well as other aspects. The root of their arguments was for the same reason that absolute rulers were now rejected. If all humans were born equal, then women should have equal rights.
The absolute sovereignty was absent in the government, then why is it still a big part of family life? Madame Geoffrin was one of many female salon hostesses.
6. How do the art and literature of the eighteenth century reflect the political and social life of the period?
A new art style appeared in the Enlightenment- rococo. It was very unlike the Baroque style seen in the previous century. Rococo emphasized grace and gentle action. It rejected geometrical patterns and contained curvy lines. The new art was highly secular, very bright/light, and expressed the pursuit of pleasure, happiness, and love.
This art represented the way the upper class viewed themselves as elite and great. The separation of the social classes was becoming more and more distinct throughout this era and rococo showed this. It also represented the anti-religious sentiment that many experienced during the Enlightenment. Neoclassicism remained popular, focusing on the rediscovered classics of the ancient world.
This showed the obsession that philosophes and scientists had with those texts. New styles of music also arose (Baroque and classical era) which were a good mix of religious and secular pieces. The newspaper, magazine, and novel were all developed in this time period, along with many texts published by the philosophes.
The books by the philosophes were very critical of the French government, a general trend in the Enlightenment. Many of these were censored by the government in a lame attempt to stop the spread of their ideas. This didn’t work out too well and just led to even more resentment of the government.
7. What kinds of experiences would you associate with the popular religion of the eighteenth century?
The popular religion of the eighteenth century was generally some form of Christianity. The lower/middle classes got one break from work each year and that was at carnival. It occurred just before lent and was a time for indulgence and relaxation. The popular culture also included taverns. Gin was extremely cheap to make, so many people of the lower class drank it (sometimes too much). While Christianity was probably the main religion for the lower classes in the eighteenth century, the new Protestant religions that were popping up appealed to the lower class.
Wesley’s Methodism and Pietism were both focused on personal experiences with God or mystical experiences. Wesley would preach outside, in the middle of fields, so Methodism was more available to the lower classes. The popular religion of the eighteenth century either was associated with carnival (if Christian) or with mystical, face-to-face, experiences with God.