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Enlightenment & Revolutions

Main Idea: A revolution in intellectual activity changed Europeans’ view of gov't and society.


II.       Enlightenment—Age of Reason

A.   View on Gov't

1.    Hobbes: people need a strong gov't to keep order—absolute monarchy

a      Social contract

b      Leviathan

2.    Locke: people have a natural ability to govern themselves

a      Natural rights

b      Gov't protect those rights or be overthrown

c       Two Treaties on Government

d      Foundation of modern democracy

B.   Philosophes

1.    apply reason to all aspects of life

2.    Core of Philosophy—reason, nature, happiness, progress, liberty

3.    Voltaire: fought intolerance through satirical writing

4.    Montesquieu: gov’ts power should be divided into different branches; On the Spirit of Laws

5.    Rousseau: gov'ts should be formed through the agreement of free individuals

6.    Beccaria: promoted criminal justice; On Crimes and Punishments

C.   Impact

1.    people have confidence that human reason can solve social problems

2.    a more secular outlook emerges as scientific thinking replaces superstition, fear, and intolerance

3.    individual becomes important as people use their own ability to reason and judge

D.  Influence

1.    philosophers, writers, artists, scientists gather regularly to discuss new ideas

2.    Diderot: encyclopedia containing current ideas about service, art, gov't

3.    Ideas spread to intellectuals and the middle class throughout Europe

E.   Art & Literature

1.    Baroque: grand, ornate style

a      Johann Sebastian Bach—German composer

b      George Frederick Handel—English composer

c       Paintings: rich in color, detail, ornate imagery

2.    Classical Music: Vienna, Austria

a      Franz Joseph Haydn—sonata, symphony

b      Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart—operas, elegance & originality

c       Ludwig van Beethoven—piano, string quartets, stirring symphonies; led to Age of Romanticism

3.    Novels: entertaining stories written in everyday English that appeal to middle class

a      Richardson, Fielding (Tom Jones), Defoe (Robinson Crusoe)

F.    Monarchy

1.    Frederick the Great, Prussia: goal is to serve & strengthen his country

2.    Joseph II, Austria: radical reforms; freedom of worship & the end of serfdom

3.    Catherine the Great, Russia: limited reforms, later revoked