Enlightenment Dbq Essay

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DBQ 6: Enlightenment Thinkers and Their Impact on European Rulers The Age of Enlightenment was a time where cultural and intellectual ideas from Western Europe brought reason, analysis, and individualism to the rest of Europe and replaced former traditional authority. The Age of Enlightenment was most frequently known as the Age of Reason because it reformed society from the authority of the church to a society of science and skepticism. The Enlightenment philosophy was promoted by local enlightenment thinkers that stressed liberty, freedom from the church’s authority, and worked to abolish serfdom. A number of the Enlightenment philosophers influenced society by publishing texts. New ideas and beliefs spread through Europe and worldwide and marked a change from only having religious texts to also providing intellectual texts. John Locke, an English Enlightenment thinker, shared his views on society in his text Two Treatises on Government. He claimed that nobody should have more power than another and the people should live in state of equality (Doc 2). Up until this point, the church had all the authority but Locke provided insight that everyone should be equal. Baron de Montesquieu, a French Enlightenment thinker, said in his book The Spirit of Laws that he thought “there should sorts of power; the legislative; the executive… and the judicial” (Doc 3). The church ruled as a monarchy before the Age of Enlightenment and Montesquieu provided an idea of separation of powers and also said that liberty cannot be achieved if only one institution has all the power. Another French philosopher, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, claimed in his text The Social Contrast that “to renounce liberty is to renounce being a man,” he is saying that the authority of the church takes away so much liberty from the people that they don’t even have room to be who they want to be or say what
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