Although many "Enlightened Thinkers", or philosophers, such as Hume, Locke, Voltaire, Rousseau, Newton, Smith, Galileo and Montesquieu had contradicting attitudes toward human nature and politics, they all played a key role in the development of the ideas, which set a foundation for many modern countries to evolve from. England and France, for example, were both strongly influenced by the ideas and reforms brought upon by several crucial historical figures of the time, as their governments and other ideas were formed based upon certain principles from the individuals. "There is no crueler tyranny then that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name
AP Government Summer Assignment The Enlightenment was a European intellectual movement that encouraged individualism and reason instead of tradition. Thinkers such as John Locke, Jean Jacques Rousseau and Montesquieu wrote powerful works revealing these Enlightenment ideas. These works heavily influence the formations of governments. Ideas from these writers and their works are particularly evident in the Virginia Declaration of Rights, the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. The Virginia Declaration of Rights is a document that was written in 1776 to protect the rights of men before the development of the United States.
On the other hand, the nobility had many rights. Today it’s greatly known that the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were well influenced from the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment thinkers argued against these traditions, and called for individual freedoms, governments of the people, and religious freedom. They were "enlightened" because they believed that humans could answer questions for them, and sought ways to put this philosophy into practice. John Locke, an Enlightenment thinker, highly influenced the Declaration of Independence.
The French Revolution was a period of societal and political change during the eighteenth century. This significant event in history radically shaped France and formed a society on the basis of the enlightenment principles. Although the revolution contained emulating democratic ideals appealing to the French bourgeoisie, the actions carried out to achieve these principles left France in political unrest and financial disaster. During this time of turmoil, France called upon a strong ruler; a man with an open mind and an enlightened soul. France needed a leader who not only shared democratic ideals of the revolution, but had the sheer genius and iron hand to see them into reality.
The French Revolution of 1789 was a scramble for social, political, and economic equality between the three Estate Generals. Members of the third Estate General identified economic, social, and political equality with the 18th century enlightened movement which advocated reason as a means of establishing an authoritative system of aesthetics, ethics, and efficiency in government (Belle, 2007). The philosophes, who were the pioneers of the enlightenment, sought to transform the oppressive French monarchy into a moderate government led by intellectuals. The philosophes were not revolutionists but reformers who challenged the French citizens to think critically and rationally. By the 17th century, the French citizens became very knowledgeable in the fields of science, math, art, literature, politics, etc.
The term “enlightenment” represented the idea that reason should be the beginning point on which the authority should be established. The enlightenment started in France, Britain and Germany, it effected whole Europe, Russia and Scandinavia also. This period is also famous for changes in political system. The two documents (The Bill of Rights and Declaration of The Rights of Man and the Citizen) have a lot of similarities and differences. The biggest similarities are, mainly, that they effected the period of the enlightenment and American declaration of Independence.
In the Revolution Controversy I learned some important things: One was that the Revolution was initiated by Richard Price’s sermon, A Discourse on the Love of Our Country; Price had significant influence on England’s policies and an idea that loves for one’s country should imply love for fellow cities and about the importance of liberty and education within a nation. Then a year later Edmund Burke published a reply to Price, his Reflections on the Revolution in France; where he talked about the rights of man, her view of nature and our liberties and about the illusion and power. Then Reflections had too many responses from Mary Wollstonecraft in her Vindication of the Rights of Men. Wollstonecraft was a British feminist in support of French Revolution.
Francois attended College Louis-le-Grand in the marvelous city of Paris where he got one of the highest educations available at the time. His father had a very active role in the writing culture, which inspired Voltaire’s ambitions to be writer and philosopher. Francois senior disapproved of these ambitions but was not successful in trying to crush them. An enlightenment idea that Voltaire is know for are that all people should have the freedoms of speech, press, and religion. He also had an idea that revolved around apposing monarchy, militarism, and slavery.
Mikal Hayden - Gates World History 9/16/2013 “The Enlightenment Thinkers: What Was The Common Theme?” In the eighteenth century, the majority of ideas and beliefs people held were shaped by the Catholic Church. The Enlightenment, also known as the Age of Reason, was a cultural movement that encouraged people to question the normal way of thinking through reason and research using the scientific method. Thinkers called philosophers fueled this movement with their new ideas and discoveries that they hoped would help people better understand and improve the society they live in. Although each philosopher had his or her own unique theory, a common theme amongst their ideas was the natural law. These laws include man’s right to freedom, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
The Enlightenment ideas had an enormous influence on the outbreak of the French Revolution and the reforms in 1789, although many other things played a role in the outbreak of the revolu¬tion. It was an intellectual movement and it saw the emergence of new ideas concerning reason¬ing and rational thinking, in contrast to traditions and superstitions. The philosophers, who were a group of writers and thinkers that formed the core of the Enlightenment, supported the concepts of equality and tolerance within society and taught people not just to accept, but to question tra¬dition. One of the main and central principles of the philosophers of the eighteenth century was to apply rational analysis to all activities. The movement questioned and challenged