EuroWriting Assignment #2 The Enlightenment was a major turning point in Europeanhistory. It affected Europe’s politics, science, philosophy, and way of life.It was named The Age of Reason due to its emphasis on the scientific method. The Enlightenment was said to illuminate the minds ofEuropean after the dark middle ages. The scientific revolution that beganduring the Thirty Years War is what led to the beginning of the Enlightenment.Many philosophical concepts became prominent during that time.
Importantfigures of the Enlightenment include John Locke, Thomas Jefferson, and IsaacNewton to name a few. Before the 1700s, European governments were harsh. Rulersbelieved they were chosen by God, and thus tyranny was very big during that time.Citizens of European countries didn’t have many rights; their main duty was toserve the government. This was widely accepted until the Enlightenment. People began to question the role of government insociety, and eventually started to reject traditional ideas. The Enlightenmentpushed for people to ponder the purpose of the governments role. It alsoadvocated for natural rights.
This caused citizens to have a negative view ontheir rulers, and they thought the absolute monarchy days needed to end. Peoplealso became aware of their taxes funding the lavish lifestyles of the monarchs.During the Enlightenment, people wanted a say in the way their country wasgoverned; they also wanted constitutions that granted them rights. Freedom became a big idea during the Enlightenment.Believers in Enlightenment argued that liberty was a God given right, and thatknowledge to science was important for human progress.
Reason and the power of thoughtwere concepts that caused numerous books and essays to be published during the Enlightenment.Scientific discoveries, revolutions, and inventions were also a big part of thismovement. In 1689, John Locke wrote the essay Concerning Human Understanding.The essay discussed the way humans perceive everything around them, and detailedhow religious practice and logic played majors roles in the way we live. He arguedthat human knowledge was only gained through experience.
Locke was a known advocatorfor natural rights and liberty, and he helped pushed the Enlightenment ideologies. In 1686, Isaac Newton published his Principia Mathematica.His worked developed calculus and optical theories. Along with his previous workon the laws of gravity, Newton helped pushed the idea of reason and the importanceof science during the Enlightenment. Some concepts of philosophy that were huge during the Enlightenmentwere skepticism, reason, and progress, amongst others.
Skepticism revolved aroundthe idea that people should not be blinded by faith. Instead, they should focuson facts and scientific evidence.