The Enlightenment
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The Age of Enlightenment or the Enlightenment; german: Aufklärung, "Enlightenment"; it, L'Illuminismo, "Enlightenment"; pl, Oświecenie, "Enlightenment"; pt, Iluminismo, "Enlightenment"; es, La Ilustración, "Enlightenment" was an intellectual and philosophical movement that dominated Europe in the
17th
17th
and 18th centuries with global influences and effects. The Enlightenment included a range of ideas centered on the value of human happiness, the pursuit of knowledge obtained by means of
reason Reason is the capacity of Consciousness, consciously applying logic by Logical consequence, drawing conclusions from new or existing information, with the aim of seeking the truth. It is closely associated with such characteristically human activ ...
and the evidence of the senses, and ideals such as
liberty Liberty is the ability to do as one pleases, or a right or immunity enjoyed by prescription or by grant (i.e. privilege). It is a synonym for the word freedom. In modern politics, liberty is understood as the state of being free within society fr ...

liberty
,
progress Progress is the movement towards a refined, improved, or otherwise desired state. In the context of progressivism, it refers to the proposition that advancements in technology, science, and social organization have resulted, and by extension wi ...

progress
,
toleration Toleration is the allowing, permitting, or acceptance of an action, idea, object, or person which one dislikes or disagrees with. Political scientist Andrew R. Murphy explains that "We can improve our understanding by defining "toleration" as a ...
,
fraternity A fraternity (from Latin language, Latin ''wiktionary:frater, frater'': "brother (Christian), brother"; whence, "wiktionary:brotherhood, brotherhood") or fraternal organization is an organization, society, club (organization), club or fraternal ...
, and constitutional government. The Enlightenment was preceded by the
Scientific Revolution The Scientific Revolution was a series of events that marked the emergence of modern science during the early modern period, when developments in mathematics Mathematics is an area of knowledge that includes the topics of numbers, fo ...

Scientific Revolution
and the work of
Francis Bacon Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Alban (; 22 January 1561 – 9 April 1626), also known as Lord Verulam, was an English philosopher and statesman who served as Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England England is a Countries of ...

Francis Bacon
,
John Locke John Locke (; 29 August 1632 – 28 October 1704) was an English philosopher and physician, widely regarded as one of the most influential of Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment thinkers and commonly known as the "father of liberalism ...

John Locke
, and others. Some date the beginning of the Enlightenment to the publication of
René Descartes René Descartes ( or ; ; Latinized: Renatus Cartesius; 31 March 1596 – 11 February 1650) was a French philosopher, scientist, and mathematician A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics in their work ...

René Descartes
' '' Discourse on the Method'' in 1637, featuring his famous dictum, '' Cogito, ergo sum'' ("I think, therefore I am"). Others cite the publication of
Isaac Newton Sir Isaac Newton (25 December 1642 – 20 March 1726/27) was an English mathematician, physicist, astronomer, alchemist, Theology, theologian, and author (described in his time as a "natural philosophy, natural philosopher"), widely ...

Isaac Newton
's '' Principia Mathematica'' (1687) as the culmination of the Scientific Revolution and the beginning of the Enlightenment. European historians traditionally date its beginning with the death of
Louis XIV Louis XIV (Louis Dieudonné; 5 September 16381 September 1715), also known as Louis the Great () or the Sun King (), was List of French monarchs, King of France from 14 May 1643 until his death in 1715. His reign of 72 years and 110 days is the Li ...

Louis XIV
of France in 1715 and its end with the 1789 outbreak of the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, ...

French Revolution
. Many historians now date the end of the Enlightenment as the start of the 19th century, with the latest proposed year being the death of
Immanuel Kant Immanuel Kant (, , ; 22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804) was a German Philosophy, philosopher and one of the central Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment thinkers. Born in Königsberg, Kant's comprehensive and systematic works in epistemolo ...

Immanuel Kant
in 1804. Philosophers and scientists of the period widely circulated their ideas through meetings at
scientific academies
scientific academies
,
Masonic lodge
Masonic lodge
s, literary salons,
coffeehouse A coffeehouse, coffee shop, or café is an establishment that primarily serves coffee of various types, notably espresso, latte, and cappuccino. Some coffeehouses may serve cold drinks, such as iced coffee and iced tea, as well as other non-caf ...

coffeehouse
s and in
printed books
printed books
, journals, and
pamphlet A pamphlet is an unbound book (that is, without a Hardcover, hard cover or Bookbinding, binding). Pamphlets may consist of a single sheet of paper that is printed on both sides and folded in half, in thirds, or in fourths, called a ''leaflet'' o ...

pamphlet
s. The ideas of the Enlightenment undermined the authority of the monarchy and the
Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptized Catholics Catholic Church by country, worldwide . It is am ...

Catholic Church
and paved the way for the political revolutions of the 18th and 19th centuries. A variety of 19th-century movements, including
liberalism Liberalism is a Political philosophy, political and moral philosophy based on the Individual rights, rights of the individual, liberty, consent of the governed, political equality and equality before the law."political rationalism, hostilit ...

liberalism
,
communism Communism (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) around ...

communism
, and
neoclassicism Neoclassicism (also spelled Neo-classicism) was a Western cultural movement in the decorative arts, decorative and visual arts, literature, theatre, music, and architecture that drew inspiration from the art and culture of classical antiquity. ...
, trace their intellectual heritage to the Enlightenment. The central doctrines of the Enlightenment were
individual liberty Civil liberties are guarantees and freedoms that governments commit not to abridge, either by constitution, legislation, or judicial interpretation, without due process. Though the scope of the term differs between countries, civil liberties may ...
and
religious tolerance Religious toleration may signify "no more than forbearance and the permission given by the adherents of a dominant religion for other religions to exist, even though the latter are looked on with disapproval as inferior, mistaken, or harmful". ...
, in opposition to an
absolute monarchy Absolute monarchy (or Absolutism as a doctrine) is a form of monarchy in which the monarch rules in their own right or power. In an absolute monarchy, the king or queen is by no means limited and has absolute power, though a limited constitut ...
and the fixed dogmas of the Church. The principles of sociability and utility also played an important role in circulating knowledge useful to the improvement of society at large. The Enlightenment was marked by an increasing awareness of the relationship between the mind and the everyday media of the world, and by an emphasis on the
scientific method The scientific method is an Empirical evidence, empirical method for acquiring knowledge that has characterized the development of science since at least the 17th century (with notable practitioners in previous centuries; see the article hist ...

scientific method
and reductionism, along with increased questioning of religious orthodoxy—an attitude captured by
Immanuel Kant Immanuel Kant (, , ; 22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804) was a German Philosophy, philosopher and one of the central Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment thinkers. Born in Königsberg, Kant's comprehensive and systematic works in epistemolo ...

Immanuel Kant
's essay '' Answering the Question: What is Enlightenment'', where the phrase ''
Sapere aude ''Sapere aude'' is the Latin phrase meaning "Dare to know"; and also is loosely translated as “Have courage to use your own reason”, "Dare to know things through reason", or even more loosely as "Dare to be wise". Originally used in the ''Ep ...

Sapere aude
'' (Dare to know) can be found.


Important intellectuals

The Age of Enlightenment was preceded by and closely associated with the
Scientific Revolution The Scientific Revolution was a series of events that marked the emergence of modern science during the early modern period, when developments in mathematics Mathematics is an area of knowledge that includes the topics of numbers, fo ...

Scientific Revolution
. Earlier philosophers whose work influenced the Enlightenment included
Francis Bacon Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Alban (; 22 January 1561 – 9 April 1626), also known as Lord Verulam, was an English philosopher and statesman who served as Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England England is a Countries of ...

Francis Bacon
and
René Descartes René Descartes ( or ; ; Latinized: Renatus Cartesius; 31 March 1596 – 11 February 1650) was a French philosopher, scientist, and mathematician A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics in their work ...

René Descartes
. Some of the major figures of the Enlightenment included
Cesare Beccaria Cesare Bonesana di Beccaria, Marquis of Gualdrasco and Villareggio (; 15 March 173828 November 1794) was an Italian criminologist, jurist, philosopher, economist and politician, who is widely considered one of the greatest thinkers of the Age of ...

Cesare Beccaria
,
Denis Diderot Denis Diderot (; ; 5 October 171331 July 1784) was a French philosopher, art critic, and writer, best known for serving as co-founder, chief editor, and contributor to the ''Encyclopédie'' along with Jean le Rond d'Alembert. He was a prominen ...

Denis Diderot
,
David Hume David Hume (; born David Home; 7 May 1711 New Style, NS (26 April 1711 Old Style, OS) – 25 August 1776)Maurice Cranston, Cranston, Maurice, and T. E. Jessop, Thomas Edmund Jessop. 2020 999avid Hume" ''Encyclopædia Britannica''. Retrieve ...

David Hume
,
Immanuel Kant Immanuel Kant (, , ; 22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804) was a German Philosophy, philosopher and one of the central Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment thinkers. Born in Königsberg, Kant's comprehensive and systematic works in epistemolo ...

Immanuel Kant
,
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Gottfried Wilhelm (von) Leibniz . ( – 14 November 1716) was a German polymath active as a mathematician, philosopher, scientist and diplomat. He is one of the most prominent figures in both the history of philosophy and the history of mathema ...

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
,
John Locke John Locke (; 29 August 1632 – 28 October 1704) was an English philosopher and physician, widely regarded as one of the most influential of Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment thinkers and commonly known as the "father of liberalism ...

John Locke
,
Montesquieu
Montesquieu
,
Jean-Jacques Rousseau Jean-Jacques Rousseau (, ; 28 June 1712 – 2 July 1778) was a Republic of Geneva, Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer. His political philosophy influenced the progress of the Age of Enlightenment throughout Europe, as well as aspects ...

Jean-Jacques Rousseau
,
Adam Smith Adam Smith (baptized 1723 – 17 July 1790) was a Scottish economist and philosopher who was a pioneer in the thinking of political economy and key figure during the Scottish Enlightenment. Seen by some as "The Father of Economics"——— ...

Adam Smith
,
Hugo Grotius Hugo Grotius (; 10 April 1583 – 28 August 1645), also known as Huig de Groot () and Hugo de Groot (), was a Dutch humanist, diplomat, lawyer, theologian, jurist, poet and playwright. A teenage intellectual prodigy, he was born in Delft ...

Hugo Grotius
,
Baruch Spinoza Baruch (de) Spinoza (born Bento de Espinosa; later as an author and a correspondent ''Benedictus de Spinoza'', anglicized to ''Benedict de Spinoza''; 24 November 1632 – 21 February 1677) was a Dutch Republic, Dutch philosopher of Spanish and ...

Baruch Spinoza
, and
Voltaire François-Marie Arouet (; 21 November 169430 May 1778) was a French Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher. Known by his ''Pen name, nom de plume'' M. de Voltaire (; also ; ), he was famous for his wit, and his ...

Voltaire
.Jeremy Black, "Ancien Regime and Enlightenment. Some Recent Writing on Seventeenth-and Eighteenth-Century Europe," ''European History Quarterly'' 22.2 (1992): 247–55. One particularly influential Enlightenment publication was the ' (''Encyclopedia''). Published between 1751 and 1772 in thirty-five volumes, it was compiled by
Denis Diderot Denis Diderot (; ; 5 October 171331 July 1784) was a French philosopher, art critic, and writer, best known for serving as co-founder, chief editor, and contributor to the ''Encyclopédie'' along with Jean le Rond d'Alembert. He was a prominen ...

Denis Diderot
, Jean le Rond d'Alembert, and a team of 150 other intellectuals. The ''Encyclopédie'' helped in spreading the ideas of the Enlightenment across Europe and beyond. Other landmark publications of the Enlightenment included Voltaire's '' Letters on the English'' (1733) and '' Dictionnaire philosophique'' (''Philosophical Dictionary''; 1764); Hume's '' A Treatise of Human Nature'' (1740); Montesquieu's '' The Spirit of the Laws'' (1748); Rousseau's '' Discourse on Inequality'' (1754) and ''
The Social Contract ''The Social Contract'', originally published as ''On the Social Contract; or, Principles of Political Right'' (french: Du contrat social; ou, Principes du droit politique), is a 1762 French-language book by the Genevan philosopher Jean-Jacque ...
'' (1762); Adam Smith's '' The Theory of Moral Sentiments'' (1759) and ''
The Wealth of Nations ''An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations'', generally referred to by its shortened title ''The Wealth of Nations'', is the ''Masterpiece, magnum opus'' of the Scottish people, Scottish economist and moral philosopher Ada ...
'' (1776); and Kant's '' Critique of Pure Reason'' (1781).


Topics


Philosophy

Francis Bacon Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Alban (; 22 January 1561 – 9 April 1626), also known as Lord Verulam, was an English philosopher and statesman who served as Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England England is a Countries of ...

Francis Bacon
's
empiricism In philosophy, empiricism is an Epistemology, epistemological theory that holds that knowledge or justification comes only or primarily from Empirical evidence, sensory experience. It is one of several views within epistemology, along with ra ...
and
René Descartes René Descartes ( or ; ; Latinized: Renatus Cartesius; 31 March 1596 – 11 February 1650) was a French philosopher, scientist, and mathematician A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics in their work ...

René Descartes
' rationalist philosophy laid the foundation for enlightenment thinking. Descartes attempt to construct the sciences on a secure
metaphysical Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that studies the fundamental nature of reality, the first principles of being, identity and change, space and time, causality, necessity, and possibility. It includes questions about the nature of conscio ...
foundation was not as successful as his method of doubt applied in philosophic areas leading to a dualistic doctrine of mind and matter. His
skepticism Skepticism, also spelled scepticism, is a questioning attitude or doubt toward knowledge claims that are seen as mere belief or dogma. For example, if a person is skeptical about claims made by their government about an ongoing war then th ...
was refined by
John Locke John Locke (; 29 August 1632 – 28 October 1704) was an English philosopher and physician, widely regarded as one of the most influential of Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment thinkers and commonly known as the "father of liberalism ...

John Locke
's ''
Essay Concerning Human Understanding ''An Essay Concerning Human Understanding'' is a work by John Locke concerning the foundation of human knowledge and understanding. It first appeared in 1689 (although dated 1690) with the printed title ''An Essay Concerning Humane Understand ...
'' (1690) and
David Hume David Hume (; born David Home; 7 May 1711 New Style, NS (26 April 1711 Old Style, OS) – 25 August 1776)Maurice Cranston, Cranston, Maurice, and T. E. Jessop, Thomas Edmund Jessop. 2020 999avid Hume" ''Encyclopædia Britannica''. Retrieve ...

David Hume
's writings in the 1740s. His dualism was challenged by
Spinoza Baruch (de) Spinoza (born Bento de Espinosa; later as an author and a correspondent ''Benedictus de Spinoza'', anglicized to ''Benedict de Spinoza''; 24 November 1632 – 21 February 1677) was a Dutch Republic, Dutch philosopher of Spanish and ...
's uncompromising assertion of the unity of matter in his ''Tractatus'' (1670) and ''Ethics'' (1677). According to Jonathan Israel, these laid down two distinct lines of Enlightenment thought: first, the moderate variety, following Descartes, Locke, and Christian Wolff, which sought accommodation between reform and the traditional systems of power and faith, and, second, the Radical Enlightenment, inspired by the philosophy of
Spinoza Baruch (de) Spinoza (born Bento de Espinosa; later as an author and a correspondent ''Benedictus de Spinoza'', anglicized to ''Benedict de Spinoza''; 24 November 1632 – 21 February 1677) was a Dutch Republic, Dutch philosopher of Spanish and ...
, advocating democracy, individual liberty, freedom of expression, and eradication of religious authority. The moderate variety tended to be deistic, whereas the radical tendency separated the basis of morality entirely from theology. Both lines of thought were eventually opposed by a conservative Counter-Enlightenment, which sought a return to faith. In the mid-18th century, Paris became the center of philosophic and scientific activity challenging traditional doctrines and dogmas. The philosophical movement was led by
Voltaire François-Marie Arouet (; 21 November 169430 May 1778) was a French Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher. Known by his ''Pen name, nom de plume'' M. de Voltaire (; also ; ), he was famous for his wit, and his ...

Voltaire
and
Jean-Jacques Rousseau Jean-Jacques Rousseau (, ; 28 June 1712 – 2 July 1778) was a Republic of Geneva, Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer. His political philosophy influenced the progress of the Age of Enlightenment throughout Europe, as well as aspects ...

Jean-Jacques Rousseau
, who argued for a society based upon reason as in ancient Greece rather than faith and Catholic doctrine, for a new civil order based on natural law, and for science based on experiments and observation. The political philosopher
Montesquieu
Montesquieu
introduced the idea of a
separation of powers Separation of powers refers to the division of a state (polity), state's government into branches, each with separate, independent power (social and political), powers and responsibilities, so that the powers of one branch are not in conflic ...
in a government, a concept which was enthusiastically adopted by the authors of the United States Constitution. While the '' philosophes'' of the French Enlightenment were not revolutionaries and many were members of the nobility, their ideas played an important part in undermining the legitimacy of the
Old Regime Old or OLD may refer to: Places *Old, Baranya, Hungary *Old, Northamptonshire, England *Old Street station, a railway and tube station in London (station code OLD) *OLD, IATA code for Old Town Municipal Airport and Seaplane Base, Old Town, Mai ...
and shaping the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, ...

French Revolution
. Francis Hutcheson, a moral philosopher and founding figure of the
Scottish Enlightenment The Scottish Enlightenment ( sco, Scots Enlichtenment, gd, Soillseachadh na h-Alba) was the period in History of Scotland#18th century, 18th- and early-19th-century Scotland characterised by an outpouring of intellectual and scientific accomplis ...
, described the
utilitarian In ethical philosophy, utilitarianism is a family of Normative ethics, normative ethical theories that prescribe actions that maximize happiness and well-being for all affected individuals. Although different varieties of utilitarianism admit ...
and
consequentialist In ethical philosophy, consequentialism is a class of normative ethics, normative, Teleology, teleological ethical theories that holds that the wikt:consequence, consequences of one's Action (philosophy), conduct are the ultimate basis for judgm ...
principle that virtue is that which provides, in his words, "the greatest happiness for the greatest numbers". Much of what is incorporated in the
scientific method The scientific method is an Empirical evidence, empirical method for acquiring knowledge that has characterized the development of science since at least the 17th century (with notable practitioners in previous centuries; see the article hist ...

scientific method
(the nature of knowledge, evidence, experience, and causation) and some modern attitudes towards the relationship between science and religion were developed by Hutcheson's protégés in Edinburgh, Scotland,
David Hume David Hume (; born David Home; 7 May 1711 New Style, NS (26 April 1711 Old Style, OS) – 25 August 1776)Maurice Cranston, Cranston, Maurice, and T. E. Jessop, Thomas Edmund Jessop. 2020 999avid Hume" ''Encyclopædia Britannica''. Retrieve ...

David Hume
and
Adam Smith Adam Smith (baptized 1723 – 17 July 1790) was a Scottish economist and philosopher who was a pioneer in the thinking of political economy and key figure during the Scottish Enlightenment. Seen by some as "The Father of Economics"——— ...

Adam Smith
. Hume became a major figure in the skeptical philosophical and
empiricist In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the systematized study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence, reason, knowledge, values, mind, and language. Such questions are often posed as problems to be stud ...
traditions of philosophy.
Immanuel Kant Immanuel Kant (, , ; 22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804) was a German Philosophy, philosopher and one of the central Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment thinkers. Born in Königsberg, Kant's comprehensive and systematic works in epistemolo ...

Immanuel Kant
(1724–1804) tried to reconcile
rationalism In philosophy, rationalism is the epistemology, epistemological view that "regards reason as the chief source and test of knowledge" or "any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification".Lacey, A.R. (1996), ''A Dictionary o ...
and religious belief,
individual freedom Individualism is the Ethics, moral stance, political philosophy, ideology and social outlook that emphasizes the intrinsic worth of the individual. Individualists promote the exercise of one's goals and desires and to value independence and self ...
and political authority, as well as map out a view of the public sphere through private and public reason. Kant's work continued to shape German thought and indeed all of European philosophy, well into the 20th century.
Mary Wollstonecraft Mary Wollstonecraft (, ; 27 April 1759 – 10 September 1797) was a British writer, philosopher, and advocate of women's rights. Until the late 20th century, Wollstonecraft's life, which encompassed several unconventional personal relationsh ...
was one of England's earliest
feminist Feminism is a range of socio-political movements and ideology, ideologies that aim to define and establish the political, economic, personal, and social gender equality, equality of the sexes. Feminism incorporates the position that socie ...
philosophers. She argued for a society based on reason and that women as well as men should be treated as rational beings. She is best known for her work ''
A Vindication of the Rights of Woman ''A Vindication of the Rights of Woman: with Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects'' (1792), written by British philosopher and women's rights advocate Mary Wollstonecraft Mary Wollstonecraft (, ; 27 April 1759 – 10 September 1 ...
'' (1791).


Science

Science played an important role in Enlightenment discourse and thought. Many Enlightenment writers and thinkers had backgrounds in the sciences and associated scientific advancement with the overthrow of religion and traditional authority in favour of the development of free speech and thought. Scientific progress during the Enlightenment included the discovery of
carbon dioxide Carbon dioxide ( chemical formula ) is a chemical compound made up of molecules that each have one carbon Carbon () is a chemical element with the chemical symbol, symbol C and atomic number 6. It is nonmetallic and tetravalence, tetraval ...
(fixed air) by the chemist
Joseph Black Joseph Black (16 April 1728 – 6 December 1799) was a Scottish physicist and chemist, known for his discoveries of magnesium, latent heat, specific heat, and carbon dioxide. He was Professor of Anatomy and Chemistry at the University of Glas ...
, the argument for
deep time Deep time is a term introduced and applied by John McPhee to the concept of Geologic time scale, geologic time in his book ''Basin and Range'' (1981), parts of which originally appeared in the ''The New Yorker, New Yorker'' magazine. The philos ...
by the geologist
James Hutton James Hutton (; 3 June O.S.172614 June 1726 Old Style and New Style dates, New Style. – 26 March 1797) was a Scottish geologist, Agricultural science, agriculturalist, chemist, chemical manufacturer, Natural history, naturalist and physici ...
, and the invention of the condensing steam engine by
James Watt James Watt (; 30 January 1736 (19 January 1736 Old Style and New Style dates, OS) – 25 August 1819) was a Scottish people, Scottish invention, inventor, mechanical engineer, and chemist who improved on Thomas Newcomen's 1712 Newcomen steam ...
. The experiments of
Antoine Lavoisier Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier ( , ; ; 26 August 17438 May 1794), When reduced without charcoal, it gave off an air which supported respiration and combustion in an enhanced way. He concluded that this was just a pure form of common air and th ...
were used to create the first modern chemical plants in Paris and the experiments of the
Montgolfier brothers The Montgolfier brothers – Joseph-Michel Montgolfier (; 26 August 1740 – 26 June 1810) and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier (; 6 January 1745 – 2 August 1799) – were aviation pioneers, balloonists and paper manufacturers from the commune ...
enabled them to launch the first manned flight in a hot-air balloon on 21 November 1783 from the Château de la Muette, near the
Bois de Boulogne The Bois de Boulogne (, "Boulogne woodland") is a large public park located along the western edge of the 16th arrondissement of Paris, near the suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt and Neuilly-sur-Seine. The land was ceded to the city of Paris b ...
. The wide-ranging contributions to mathematics of
Leonhard Euler Leonhard Euler ( , ; 15 April 170718 September 1783) was a Swiss mathematician, physicist, astronomer, geographer, logician and engineer who founded the studies of graph theory and topology and made pioneering and influential discoveries in ma ...
(1707–1783) included major results in analysis, number theory, topology, combinatorics, graph theory, algebra, and geometry (among other fields). In applied mathematics, he made fundamental contributions to mechanics, hydraulics, acoustics, optics, and astronomy. He was based in the
Imperial Academy of Sciences The Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS; russian: Росси́йская акаде́мия нау́к (РАН) ''Rossíyskaya akadémiya naúk'') consists of the national academy A national academy is an organizational body, usually operating wi ...
in
St. Petersburg Saint Petersburg ( rus, links=no, Санкт-Петербург, a=Ru-Sankt Peterburg Leningrad Petrograd Piter.ogg, r=Sankt-Peterburg, p=ˈsankt pʲɪtʲɪrˈburk), formerly known as Petrograd (1914–1924) and later Leningrad (1924–1991), i ...
(1727–1741), then in
Berlin Berlin ( , ) is the capital and largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3.7 million inhabitants make it the European Union's most populous city, according to population within city limits. One of Germany's sixteen constituen ...
at the Royal Prussian Academy of Sciences and Belles Lettres (1741–1766), and finally back in St. Petersburg at the Imperial Academy (1766–1783). Broadly speaking, Enlightenment science greatly valued
empiricism In philosophy, empiricism is an Epistemology, epistemological theory that holds that knowledge or justification comes only or primarily from Empirical evidence, sensory experience. It is one of several views within epistemology, along with ra ...
and rational thought and was embedded with the Enlightenment ideal of advancement and progress. The study of science, under the heading of
natural philosophy Natural philosophy or philosophy of nature (from Latin ''philosophia naturalis'') is the philosophy, philosophical study of Physics (Aristotle), physics, that is, nature and the physical universe. It was dominant before the development of mode ...
, was divided into physics and a conglomerate grouping of chemistry and natural history, which included
anatomy Anatomy () is the branch of biology concerned with the study of the structure of organisms and their parts. Anatomy is a branch of natural science that deals with the structural organization of living things. It is an old science, having its ...
, biology, geology,
mineralogy Mineralogy is a subject of geology specializing in the scientific study of the chemistry, crystal structure, and physical (including optical mineralogy, optical) properties of minerals and mineralized artifact (archaeology), artifacts. Specific s ...
, and
zoology Zoology ()The pronunciation of zoology as is usually regarded as nonstandard, though it is not uncommon. is the branch of biology that studies the Animal, animal kingdom, including the anatomy, structure, embryology, evolution, Biological clas ...
. As with most Enlightenment views, the benefits of science were not seen universally: Rousseau criticized the sciences for distancing man from nature and not operating to make people happier. Science during the Enlightenment was dominated by scientific societies and academies, which had largely replaced universities as centres of scientific research and development. Societies and academies were also the backbone of the maturation of the scientific profession. Scientific academies and societies grew out of the Scientific Revolution as the creators of scientific knowledge, in contrast to the scholasticism of the university. During the Enlightenment, some societies created or retained links to universities, but contemporary sources distinguished universities from scientific societies by claiming that the university's utility was in the transmission of knowledge while societies functioned to create knowledge. As the role of universities in institutionalized science began to diminish, learned societies became the cornerstone of organized science. Official scientific societies were chartered by the state to provide technical expertise. Most societies were granted permission to oversee their own publications, control the election of new members and the administration of the society. After 1700, a tremendous number of official academies and societies were founded in Europe and by 1789 there were over seventy official scientific societies. In reference to this growth, Bernard de Fontenelle coined the term "the Age of Academies" to describe the 18th century. Another important development was the popularization of science among an increasingly literate population. ''
Philosophe The ''philosophes'' () were the intellectuals of the 18th-century The Enlightenment, Enlightenment.Kishlansky, Mark, ''et al.'' ''A Brief History of Western Civilization: The Unfinished Legacy, volume II: Since 1555.'' (5th ed. 2007). Few were pr ...
s'' introduced the public to many scientific theories, most notably through the ''
Encyclopédie ''Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers'' (English: ''Encyclopedia, or a Systematic Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts, and Crafts''), better known as ''Encyclopédie'', was a general encyclopedia ...
'' and the popularization of
Newtonianism Newtonianism is a philosophical and scientific doctrine inspired by the beliefs and methods of natural philosopher Isaac Newton. While Newton's influential contributions were primarily in physics and mathematics, his broad conception of the unive ...
by
Voltaire François-Marie Arouet (; 21 November 169430 May 1778) was a French Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher. Known by his ''Pen name, nom de plume'' M. de Voltaire (; also ; ), he was famous for his wit, and his ...

Voltaire
and Émilie du Châtelet. Some historians have marked the 18th century as a drab period in the
history of science The history of science covers the development of science from ancient history, ancient times to the present. It encompasses all three major branches of science: natural science, natural, social science, social, and formal science, formal. Sc ...
. The century saw significant advancements in the practice of medicine, mathematics, and
physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its motion and behavior through Spacetime, space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. "Physical science is that depar ...
; the development of biological
taxonomy Taxonomy is the practice and science of categorization or classification (general theory), classification. A taxonomy (or taxonomical classification) is a scheme of classification, especially a hierarchical classification, in which things are ...
; a new understanding of
magnetism Magnetism is the class of physical attributes that are mediated by a magnetic field, which refers to the capacity to induce attractive and repulsive phenomena in other entities. Electric currents and the magnetic moments of elementary particles ...
and electricity; and the maturation of
chemistry Chemistry is the scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the elements that make up matter to the compounds made of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, structure, properties ...
as a discipline, which established the foundations of modern chemistry. The influence of science also began appearing more commonly in poetry and literature during the Enlightenment. Some poetry became infused with scientific metaphor and imagery, while other poems were written directly about scientific topics. Sir Richard Blackmore committed the Newtonian system to verse in ''Creation, a Philosophical Poem in Seven Books'' (1712). After Newton's death in 1727, poems were composed in his honour for decades.Burns, (2003), entry: 158. James Thomson (1700–1748) penned his "Poem to the Memory of Newton", which mourned the loss of Newton, but also praised his science and legacy.


Sociology, economics, and law

Hume and other
Scottish Enlightenment The Scottish Enlightenment ( sco, Scots Enlichtenment, gd, Soillseachadh na h-Alba) was the period in History of Scotland#18th century, 18th- and early-19th-century Scotland characterised by an outpouring of intellectual and scientific accomplis ...
thinkers developed a " science of man", which was expressed historically in works by authors including James Burnett,
Adam Ferguson Adam Ferguson, (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig ), also known as Scots Gaelic and Gaelic, is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European languages, Indo-European language family) nat ...
, John Millar, and William Robertson, all of whom merged a scientific study of how humans behaved in ancient and primitive cultures with a strong awareness of the determining forces of
modernity Modernity, a topic in the humanities and social sciences, is both a historical period (the modern era) and the ensemble of particular socio-cultural norms, attitudes and practices that arose in the wake of the Renaissancein the " Age of ...
. Modern sociology largely originated from this movement and Hume's philosophical concepts that directly influenced James Madison (and thus the U.S. Constitution) and as popularised by
Dugald Stewart Dugald Stewart (; 22 November 175311 June 1828) was a Scottish philosopher and mathematician. Today regarded as one of the most important figures of the later Scottish Enlightenment, he was renowned as a populariser of the work of Francis Hutc ...
, would be the basis of
classical liberalism Classical liberalism is a political tradition and a branch of liberalism Liberalism is a Political philosophy, political and moral philosophy based on the Individual rights, rights of the individual, liberty, consent of the governe ...
. In 1776, Adam Smith published ''
The Wealth of Nations ''An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations'', generally referred to by its shortened title ''The Wealth of Nations'', is the ''Masterpiece, magnum opus'' of the Scottish people, Scottish economist and moral philosopher Ada ...
'', often considered the first work on modern economics as it had an immediate impact on British economic policy that continues into the 21st century.M. Fry, ''Adam Smith's Legacy: His Place in the Development of Modern Economics'' (Routledge, 1992). It was immediately preceded and influenced by
Anne-Robert-Jacques Turgot, Baron de Laune Anne Robert Jacques Turgot, Baron de l'Aulne ( ; ; 10 May 172718 March 1781), commonly known as Turgot, was a French economist and statesman. Originally considered a physiocrat, he is today best remembered as an early advocate for economic libe ...
drafts of '' Reflections on the Formation and Distribution of Wealth'' (Paris, 1766). Smith acknowledged indebtedness and possibly was the original English translator.
Cesare Beccaria Cesare Bonesana di Beccaria, Marquis of Gualdrasco and Villareggio (; 15 March 173828 November 1794) was an Italian criminologist, jurist, philosopher, economist and politician, who is widely considered one of the greatest thinkers of the Age of ...

Cesare Beccaria
, a jurist, criminologist, philosopher, and politician and one of the great Enlightenment writers, became famous for his masterpiece ''Of Crimes and Punishments'' (1764), later translated into 22 languages, which condemned torture and the death penalty and was a founding work in the field of penology and the classical school of criminology by promoting criminal justice. Another prominent intellectual was Francesco Mario Pagano, who wrote important studies such as ''Saggi politici'' (Political Essays, 1783), one of the major works of the Enlightenment in Naples; and ''Considerazioni sul processo criminale'' (Considerations on the Criminal Trial, 1787), which established him as an international authority on criminal law.


Politics

The Enlightenment has long been hailed as the foundation of modern Western political and intellectual culture. The Enlightenment brought political modernization to the West, in terms of introducing democratic values and institutions and the creation of modern, liberal democracies. This thesis has been widely accepted by Anglophone scholars and has been reinforced by the large-scale studies by
Robert Darnton Robert Choate Darnton (born May 10, 1939) is an American cultural historian and academic librarian who specializes in 18th-century France. He was director of the Harvard University Library from 2007 to 2016. Life Darnton was born in New York ...
,
Roy Porter Roy Sydney Porter, FBA (31 December 1946 – 3 March 2002) was a British historian known for his work on the history of medicine The history of medicine is both a study of medicine throughout history as well as a multidisciplinary field of ...
, and, most recently, by Jonathan Israel. Enlightenment thought was deeply influential in the political realm. European rulers such as
Catherine II of Russia , en, Catherine Alexeievna Romanova, link=yes , house = , father = Christian August, Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst , mother = Joanna Elisabeth of Holstein-Gottorp , birth_date = , birth_name = Princess Sophie of Anh ...
,
Joseph II of Austria Joseph II (German: Josef Benedikt Anton Michael Adam; English: ''Joseph Benedict Anthony Michael Adam''; 13 March 1741 – 20 February 1790) was Holy Roman Emperor from August 1765 and sole ruler of the Habsburg monarchy, Habsburg lands from No ...
, and
Frederick II of Prussia Frederick II (german: Friedrich II.; 24 January 171217 August 1786) was King in Prussia from 1740 until 1772, and King of Prussia from 1772 until his death in 1786. His most significant accomplishments include his military successes in the Sil ...
tried to apply Enlightenment thought on religious and political tolerance, which became known as
enlightened absolutism Enlightened absolutism (also called enlightened despotism) refers to the conduct and policies of European Absolute monarchy, absolute monarchs during the 18th and early 19th centuries who were influenced by the ideas of the Age of Enlightenment, E ...
. Many of the major political and intellectual figures behind the
American Revolution The American Revolution was an ideological and political revolution that occurred in British America between 1765 and 1791. The Americans in the Thirteen Colonies formed independent states that defeated the British in the American Revolut ...
associated themselves closely with the Enlightenment:
Benjamin Franklin Benjamin Franklin ( April 17, 1790) was an American polymath who was active as a writer, scientist, Invention, inventor, Statesman (politician), statesman, diplomat, printer (publishing), printer, publisher, and Political philosophy, politi ...
visited Europe repeatedly and contributed actively to the scientific and political debates there and brought the newest ideas back to Philadelphia;
Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, philosopher, and Founding Fathers of the United States, Founding Father who served as the third president of the United States from 18 ...
closely followed European ideas and later incorporated some of the ideals of the Enlightenment into the
Declaration of Independence A declaration of independence or declaration of statehood or proclamation of independence is an assertion by a polity in a defined territory that it is independence, independent and constitutes a Sovereign state, state. Such places are usually d ...
; and
James Madison James Madison Jr. (March 16, 1751June 28, 1836) was an American statesman, diplomat, and Founding Fathers of the United States, Founding Father. He served as the fourth president of the United States from 1809 to 1817. Madison is hailed as ...
incorporated these ideals into the
United States Constitution The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It superseded the Articles of Confederation, the nation's first constitution, in 1789. Originally comprising seven articles, it delineates the nat ...
during its framing in 1787.


Theories of government

John Locke John Locke (; 29 August 1632 – 28 October 1704) was an English philosopher and physician, widely regarded as one of the most influential of Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment thinkers and commonly known as the "father of liberalism ...

John Locke
, one of the most influential Enlightenment thinkers, based his governance philosophy in social contract theory, a subject that permeated Enlightenment political thought. The English philosopher
Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes ( ; 5/15 April 1588 – 4/14 December 1679) was an English people, English philosopher, considered to be one of the founders of modern political philosophy. Hobbes is best known for his 1651 book ''Leviathan (Hobbes book), Levi ...
ushered in this new debate with his work '' Leviathan'' in 1651. Hobbes also developed some of the fundamentals of European liberal thought: the right of the individual, the natural equality of all men, the artificial character of the political order (which led to the later distinction between
civil society Civil society can be understood as the "third sector" of society, distinct from government and business, and including the family and the private sphere. Hulme and Edwards suggested that it was now seen as "the magic bullet." By the end of th ...
and the state), the view that all legitimate political power must be "representative" and based on the consent of the people, and a liberal interpretation of law which leaves people free to do whatever the law does not explicitly forbid. Both Locke and Rousseau developed social contract theories in ''Two Treatises of Government'' and '' Discourse on Inequality'', respectively. While quite different works, Locke, Hobbes, and Rousseau agreed that a
social contract In moral and political philosophy, the social contract is a theory or model that originated during the Age of Enlightenment and usually, although not always, concerns the legitimacy of the authority of the state over the individual. Soci ...
, in which the government's authority lies in the
consent of the governed In political philosophy, the phrase consent of the governed refers to the idea that a government's political legitimacy, legitimacy and natural and legal rights, moral right to use state power is justified and lawful only when consented to by the p ...
, is necessary for man to live in civil society. Locke defines the
state of nature The state of nature, in moral A moral (from Latin ''morālis'') is a message that is conveyed or a lesson to be learned from a narrative, story or wikt:event, event. The moral may be left to the hearer, reader, or viewer to determine for them ...
as a condition in which humans are rational and follow
natural law Natural law ( la, ius naturale, ''lex naturalis'') is a system of law based on a close observation of human nature, and based on values intrinsic to human nature that can be Deductive reasoning, deduced and applied independently of positive law ( ...
, in which all men are born equal and with the right to life, liberty, and property. However, when one citizen breaks the Law of Nature both the transgressor and the victim enter into a state of war, from which it is virtually impossible to break free. Therefore, Locke said that individuals enter into civil society to protect their natural rights via an "unbiased judge" or common authority, such as courts, to appeal to. In contrast, Rousseau's conception relies on the supposition that "civil man" is corrupted, while "natural man" has no want he cannot fulfill himself. Natural man is only taken out of the state of nature when the inequality associated with private property is established. Rousseau said that people join into civil society via the social contract to achieve unity while preserving individual freedom. This is embodied in the sovereignty of the
general will In political philosophy, the general will (french: volonté générale) is the will (philosophy), will of the people as a whole. The term was made famous by 18th-century Genevan philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Basic ideas The phrase "general ...
, the moral and collective legislative body constituted by citizens. Locke is known for his statement that individuals have a right to "Life, Liberty, and Property" and his belief that the natural right to property is derived from labor. Tutored by Locke,
Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury Anthony Ashley Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury (26 February 1671 – 16 February 1713) was an English people, English politician, philosopher, and writer. Early life He was born at Cecil House, Exeter House in London, the son of the future An ...
wrote in 1706: "There is a mighty Light which spreads its self over the world especially in those two free Nations of England and Holland; on whom the Affairs of Europe now turn." Locke's theory of natural rights has influenced many political documents, including the
United States Declaration of Independence The United States Declaration of Independence, formally The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen States of America, is the pronouncement and founding document adopted by the Second Continental Congress meeting at Independence Hall, Pennsylv ...
and the French National Constituent Assembly's
Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (french: Déclaration des droits de l'homme et du citoyen de 1789, links=no), set by France's National Constituent Assembly (France), National Constituent Assembly in 1789, is a human right ...
. The '' philosophes'' argued that the establishment of a contractual basis of rights would lead to the
market mechanism In economics Economics () is the social science that studies the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (economics), consumption of goods and services. Economics focuses on the beh ...
and
capitalism Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit. Central characteristics of capitalism include capital accumulation, competitive markets, price system, pr ...
, the
scientific method The scientific method is an Empirical evidence, empirical method for acquiring knowledge that has characterized the development of science since at least the 17th century (with notable practitioners in previous centuries; see the article hist ...

scientific method
, religious tolerance, and the organization of states into self-governing republics through democratic means. In this view, the tendency of the ''philosophes'' in particular to apply
rationality Rationality is the quality of being guided by or based on reasons. In this regard, a person acts rationally if they have a good reason for what they do or a belief is rational if it is based on strong evidence. This quality can apply to an ab ...
to every problem is considered the essential change. Although much of Enlightenment political thought was dominated by social contract theorists, both David Hume and Adam Ferguson criticized this camp. Hume's essay ''Of the Original Contract'' argues that governments derived from consent are rarely seen and civil government is grounded in a ruler's habitual authority and force. It is precisely because of the ruler's authority over-and-against the subject, that the subject tacitly consents and Hume says that the subjects would "never imagine that their consent made him sovereign", rather the authority did so. Similarly, Ferguson did not believe citizens built the state, rather polities grew out of social development. In his 1767 ''
An Essay on the History of Civil Society ''An Essay on the History of Civil Society'' is a book by Scottish Enlightenment philosopher Adam Ferguson, first published in 1767. The ''Essay'' established Ferguson's reputation in Britain and throughout Europe. In the second section of the th ...
'', Ferguson uses the four stages of progress, a theory that was very popular in Scotland at the time, to explain how humans advance from a hunting and gathering society to a commercial and civil society without agreeing to a social contract. Both Rousseau's and Locke's social contract theories rest on the presupposition of
natural rights Some philosophers distinguish two types of rights, natural rights and legal rights. * Natural rights are those that are not dependent on the laws or customs of any particular culture or government, and so are ''universal'', ''fundamental right ...
, which are not a result of law or custom, but are things that all men have in pre-political societies and are therefore universal and inalienable. The most famous natural right formulation comes from John Locke in his ''Second Treatise'', when he introduces the state of nature. For Locke, the law of nature is grounded on mutual security or the idea that one cannot infringe on another's natural rights, as every man is equal and has the same inalienable rights. These natural rights include perfect equality and freedom, as well as the right to preserve life and property. Locke also argued against slavery on the basis that enslaving oneself goes against the law of nature because one cannot surrender one's own rights: one's freedom is absolute and no-one can take it away. Additionally, Locke argues that one person cannot enslave another because it is morally reprehensible, although he introduces a caveat by saying that enslavement of a lawful captive in time of war would not go against one's natural rights. As a spill-over of the Enlightenment, nonsecular beliefs expressed first by Quakers and then by Protestant evangelicals in Britain and the United States emerged. To these groups, slavery became "repugnant to our religion" and a "crime in the sight of God". These ideas added to those expressed by Enlightenment thinkers, leading many in Britain to believe that slavery was "not only morally wrong and economically inefficient, but also politically unwise." This ideals eventually led to the abolition of slavery in Britain and
the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
.


Enlightened absolutism

The leaders of the Enlightenment were not especially democratic, as they more often look to absolute monarchs as the key to imposing reforms designed by the intellectuals. Voltaire despised democracy and said the absolute monarch must be enlightened and must act as dictated by reason and justice – in other words, be a "philosopher-king". In several nations, rulers welcomed leaders of the Enlightenment at court and asked them to help design laws and programs to reform the system, typically to build stronger states. These rulers are called "enlightened despots" by historians. They included
Frederick the Great Frederick II (german: Friedrich II.; 24 January 171217 August 1786) was King in Prussia from 1740 until 1772, and King of Prussia from 1772 until his death in 1786. His most significant accomplishments include his military successes in the S ...
of Prussia,
Catherine the Great Catherine II (born Sophie of Anhalt-Zerbst; 2 May 172917 November 1796), most commonly known as Catherine the Great, was the reigning empress of Russia from 1762 to 1796. She came to power following the overthrow of her husband, Peter III of Rus ...
of Russia, Leopold II of
Tuscany Tuscany ( ; it, Toscana ) is a Regions of Italy, region in central Italy with an area of about and a population of about 3.8 million inhabitants. The regional capital is Florence (''Firenze''). Tuscany is known for its landscapes, history, art ...
and
Joseph II Joseph II (German: Josef Benedikt Anton Michael Adam; English: ''Joseph Benedict Anthony Michael Adam''; 13 March 1741 – 20 February 1790) was Holy Roman Emperor from August 1765 and sole ruler of the Habsburg monarchy, Habsburg lands from No ...
of Austria. Joseph was over-enthusiastic, announcing many reforms that had little support so that revolts broke out and his regime became a comedy of errors and nearly all his programs were reversed. Senior ministers Pombal in Portugal and
Johann Friedrich Struensee Count, Lensgreve Johann Friedrich Struensee (5 August 1737 – 28 April 1772) was a German-Danish physician, philosopher and statesman. He became royal physician to the mentally ill King Christian VII of Denmark and a minister in the Danish gove ...
in Denmark also governed according to Enlightenment ideals. In Poland, the model constitution of 1791 expressed Enlightenment ideals, but was in effect for only one year before the nation was partitioned among its neighbors. More enduring were the cultural achievements, which created a nationalist spirit in Poland.
Frederick the Great Frederick II (german: Friedrich II.; 24 January 171217 August 1786) was King in Prussia from 1740 until 1772, and King of Prussia from 1772 until his death in 1786. His most significant accomplishments include his military successes in the S ...
, the king of
Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian: ''Prūsa'' or ''Prūsija'' was a Germans, German state on the southeast coast of the Baltic Sea. It formed the German Empire under Prussian rule when it united the German states in 1871. It was ''de facto'' dissolved ...
from 1740 to 1786, saw himself as a leader of the Enlightenment and patronized philosophers and scientists at his court in Berlin. Voltaire, who had been imprisoned and maltreated by the French government, was eager to accept Frederick's invitation to live at his palace. Frederick explained: "My principal occupation is to combat ignorance and prejudice... to enlighten minds, cultivate morality, and to make people as happy as it suits human nature, and as the means at my disposal permit."


American Revolution and French Revolution

The Enlightenment has been frequently linked to the
American Revolution The American Revolution was an ideological and political revolution that occurred in British America between 1765 and 1791. The Americans in the Thirteen Colonies formed independent states that defeated the British in the American Revolut ...
of 1776 and the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, ...

French Revolution
of 1789—both had some intellectual influence from
Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, philosopher, and Founding Fathers of the United States, Founding Father who served as the third president of the United States from 18 ...
. One view of the political changes that occurred during the Enlightenment is that the "
consent of the governed In political philosophy, the phrase consent of the governed refers to the idea that a government's political legitimacy, legitimacy and natural and legal rights, moral right to use state power is justified and lawful only when consented to by the p ...
" philosophy as delineated by Locke in ''
Two Treatises of Government ''Two Treatises of Government'' (or ''Two Treatises of Government: In the Former, The False Principles, and Foundation of Sir Robert Filmer, and His Followers, Are Detected and Overthrown. The Latter Is an Essay Concerning The True Original, ...
'' (1689) represented a paradigm shift from the old governance paradigm under feudalism known as the "
divine right of kings In European Christianity, the divine right of kings, divine right, or God's mandation is a political and religious doctrine of political legitimacy of a monarchy. It stems from a specific Metaphysics, metaphysical framework in which a monarch ...
". In this view, the revolutions of the late 1700s and early 1800s were caused by the fact that this governance paradigm shift often could not be resolved peacefully and therefore violent revolution was the result. A governance philosophy where the king was never wrong would be in direct conflict with one whereby citizens by natural law had to consent to the acts and rulings of their government. The ideas of the Enlightenment also played a major role in inspiring the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, ...

French Revolution
, which began in 1789.
Alexis de Tocqueville Alexis Charles Henri Clérel, comte de Tocqueville (; 29 July 180516 April 1859), colloquially known as Tocqueville (), was a French Aristocracy (class), aristocrat, diplomat, Political science, political scientist, political philosopher and hi ...
proposed the French Revolution as the inevitable result of the radical opposition created in the 18th century between the monarchy and the men of letters of the Enlightenment. These men of letters constituted a sort of "substitute aristocracy that was both all-powerful and without real power." This illusory power came from the rise of "public opinion", born when absolutist centralization removed the nobility and the bourgeoisie from the political sphere. The "literary politics" that resulted promoted a discourse of equality and was hence in fundamental opposition to the monarchical regime. De Tocqueville "clearly designates... the cultural effects of transformation in the forms of the exercise of power."


Religion

Enlightenment era religious commentary was a response to the preceding century of religious conflict in Europe, especially the
Thirty Years' War The Thirty Years' War was one of the longest and List of wars and anthropogenic disasters by death toll, most destructive conflicts in History of Europe, European history, lasting from 1618 to 1648. Fought primarily in Central Europe, an es ...
. Theologians of the Enlightenment wanted to reform their faith to its generally non-confrontational roots and to limit the capacity for religious controversy to spill over into politics and warfare while still maintaining a true faith in God. For moderate Christians, this meant a return to simple Scripture. John Locke abandoned the corpus of theological commentary in favor of an "unprejudiced examination" of the Word of God alone. He determined the essence of Christianity to be a belief in Christ the redeemer and recommended avoiding more detailed debate. Anthony Collins, one of the English freethinkers, published his "Essay concerning the Use of Reason in Propositions the Evidence whereof depends on Human Testimony" (1707), in which he rejected the distinction between "above reason" and "contrary to reason", and demanded that revelation should conform to man's natural ideas of God. In the '' Jefferson Bible'',
Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, philosopher, and Founding Fathers of the United States, Founding Father who served as the third president of the United States from 18 ...
went further and dropped any passages dealing with miracles, visitations of angels, and the
resurrection of Jesus The resurrection of Jesus ( grc-x-biblical, ἀνάστασις τοῦ Ἰησοῦ) is the Christianity, Christian belief that God in Christianity, God Resurrection, raised Jesus on the third day after Crucifixion of Jesus, his crucifixion, ...
after his death, as he tried to extract the practical Christian moral code of the
New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Christian biblical canon. It discusses the teachings and person of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus, as ...
. Enlightenment scholars sought to curtail the political power of
organized religion Organized religion, also known as institutional religion, is religion in which belief systems and rituals are systematically arranged and Formal organization, formally established. Organized religion is typically characterized by an official doc ...
and thereby prevent another age of intolerant religious war.
Spinoza Baruch (de) Spinoza (born Bento de Espinosa; later as an author and a correspondent ''Benedictus de Spinoza'', anglicized to ''Benedict de Spinoza''; 24 November 1632 – 21 February 1677) was a Dutch Republic, Dutch philosopher of Spanish and ...
determined to remove politics from contemporary and historical theology (e.g., disregarding Judaic law).
Moses Mendelssohn Moses Mendelssohn (6 September 1729 – 4 January 1786) was a German-Jewish philosopher and theologian. His writings and ideas on Jews and the Jewish religion and identity were a central element in the development of the ''Haskalah'', or 'Je ...
advised affording no political weight to any organized religion, but instead recommended that each person follow what they found most convincing. They believed a good religion based in instinctive
morals Morality () is the differentiation of intention Intentions are mental states in which the agent commits themselves to a course of action. Having the plan to visit the zoo tomorrow is an example of an intention. The action plan is the ''con ...
and a belief in God should not theoretically need force to maintain order in its believers, and both Mendelssohn and Spinoza judged religion on its moral fruits, not the logic of its theology. A number of novel ideas about religion developed with the Enlightenment, including
deism Deism ( or ; derived from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as ...
and talk of
atheism Atheism, in the broadest sense, is an absence of belief in the existence of Deity, deities. Less broadly, atheism is a rejection of the belief that any deities exist. In an even narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that ther ...
. According to
Thomas Paine Thomas Paine (born Thomas Pain; – In the contemporary record as noted by Conway, Paine's birth date is given as January 29, 1736–37. Common practice was to use a dash or a slash to separate the old-style year from the new-style year. In th ...
, deism is the simple belief in God the Creator, with no reference to the Bible or any other miraculous source. Instead, the deist relies solely on personal reason to guide his creed, which was eminently agreeable to many thinkers of the time. Atheism was much discussed, but there were few proponents. Wilson and Reill note: "In fact, very few enlightened intellectuals, even when they were vocal critics of Christianity, were true atheists. Rather, they were critics of orthodox belief, wedded rather to skepticism, deism, vitalism, or perhaps pantheism." Some followed Pierre Bayle and argued that atheists could indeed be moral men. Many others like Voltaire held that without belief in a God who punishes evil, the moral order of society was undermined. That is, since atheists gave themselves to no Supreme Authority and no law and had no fear of eternal consequences, they were far more likely to disrupt society. Bayle (1647–1706) observed that, in his day, "prudent persons will always maintain an appearance of eligion" and he believed that even atheists could hold concepts of honor and go beyond their own self-interest to create and interact in society. Locke said that if there were no God and no divine law, the result would be moral anarchy: every individual "could have no law but his own will, no end but himself. He would be a god to himself, and the satisfaction of his own will the sole measure and end of all his actions."


Separation of church and state

The "Radical Enlightenment" promoted the concept of separating church and state, an idea that is often credited to English philosopher
John Locke John Locke (; 29 August 1632 – 28 October 1704) was an English philosopher and physician, widely regarded as one of the most influential of Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment thinkers and commonly known as the "father of liberalism ...

John Locke
(1632–1704).Feldman, Noah (2005). ''Divided by God''. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, p. 29 ("It took
John Locke John Locke (; 29 August 1632 – 28 October 1704) was an English philosopher and physician, widely regarded as one of the most influential of Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment thinkers and commonly known as the "father of liberalism ...

John Locke
to translate the demand for liberty of conscience into a systematic argument for distinguishing the realm of government from the realm of religion.")
According to his principle of the
social contract In moral and political philosophy, the social contract is a theory or model that originated during the Age of Enlightenment and usually, although not always, concerns the legitimacy of the authority of the state over the individual. Soci ...
, Locke said that the government lacked authority in the realm of individual conscience, as this was something rational people could not cede to the government for it or others to control. For Locke, this created a natural right in the liberty of conscience, which he said must therefore remain protected from any government authority. These views on religious tolerance and the importance of individual conscience, along with the social contract, became particularly influential in the American colonies and the drafting of the United States Constitution.
Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, philosopher, and Founding Fathers of the United States, Founding Father who served as the third president of the United States from 18 ...
called for a "wall of separation between church and state" at the federal level. He previously had supported successful efforts to disestablish the
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is the State religion, established List of Christian denominations, Christian church in England and the mother church of the international Anglican Communion. It traces its history to the Christian church record ...
in Virginia and authored the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. Jefferson's political ideals were greatly influenced by the writings of John Locke,
Francis Bacon Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Alban (; 22 January 1561 – 9 April 1626), also known as Lord Verulam, was an English philosopher and statesman who served as Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England England is a Countries of ...

Francis Bacon
, and
Isaac Newton Sir Isaac Newton (25 December 1642 – 20 March 1726/27) was an English mathematician, physicist, astronomer, alchemist, Theology, theologian, and author (described in his time as a "natural philosophy, natural philosopher"), widely ...

Isaac Newton
, whom he considered the three greatest men that ever lived.


National variations

The Enlightenment took hold in most European countries and influenced nations globally, often with a specific local emphasis. For example, in France it became associated with anti-government and anti-Church radicalism, while in Germany it reached deep into the middle classes, where it expressed a spiritualistic and nationalistic tone without threatening governments or established churches. Government responses varied widely. In France, the government was hostile, and the '' philosophes'' fought against its censorship, sometimes being imprisoned or hounded into exile. The British government, for the most part, ignored the Enlightenment's leaders in England and Scotland, although it did give Isaac Newton a knighthood and a very lucrative government office. A common theme among most countries which derived Enlightenment ideas from Europe was the intentional non-inclusion of Enlightenment philosophies pertaining to slavery. Originally during the French Revolution, a revolution deeply inspired by Enlightenment philosophy, "France's revolutionary government had denounced slavery, but the property-holding 'revolutionaries' then remembered their bank accounts."A History of Modern Latin America: 1800 to the Present, Second Edition, by Teresa A. Meade Slavery frequently showed the limitations of the Enlightenment ideology as it pertained to European colonialism, since many colonies of Europe operated on a
plantation economy A plantation economy is an economy based on agricultural mass production, usually of a few commodity crops, grown on large farms worked by laborers or slaves. The properties are called plantations. Plantation economies rely on the export of ...
fueled by slave labor. In 1791, the
Haitian Revolution The Haitian Revolution (french: révolution haïtienne ; ht, revolisyon ayisyen) was a successful insurrection by self-liberated slaves against French colonial rule in Saint-Domingue, now the sovereign state of Haiti. The revolt began on ...
, a
slave rebellion A slave rebellion is an armed uprising by Slavery, enslaved people, as a way of fighting for their freedom. Rebellions of enslaved people have occurred in nearly all societies that practice slavery or have practiced slavery in the past. A desire f ...
by emancipated slaves against French colonial rule in the colony of
Saint-Domingue Saint-Domingue () was a French colonization of the Americas, French colony in the western portion of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, in the area of modern-day Haiti, from 1659 to 1804. The name derives from the Spanish main city in the islan ...
, broke out. European nations and the United States, despite the strong support for Enlightenment ideals, refused to " ive supportto Saint-Domingue's anti-colonial struggle."


Great Britain


England

The very existence of an English Enlightenment has been hotly debated by scholars. The majority of textbooks on British history make little or no mention of an English Enlightenment. Some surveys of the entire Enlightenment include England and others ignore it, although they do include coverage of such major intellectuals as Joseph Addison, Edward Gibbon, John Locke, Isaac Newton, Alexander Pope, Joshua Reynolds, and Jonathan Swift. Freethinking, a term describing those who stood in opposition to the institution of the Church, and the literal belief in the Bible, can be said to have begun in England no later than 1713, when Anthony Collins wrote his "Discourse of Free-thinking", which gained substantial popularity. This essay attacked the clergy of all churches and was a plea for deism.
Roy Porter Roy Sydney Porter, FBA (31 December 1946 – 3 March 2002) was a British historian known for his work on the history of medicine The history of medicine is both a study of medicine throughout history as well as a multidisciplinary field of ...
argues that the reasons for this neglect were the assumptions that the movement was primarily French-inspired, that it was largely a-religious or anti-clerical, and that it stood in outspoken defiance to the established order. Porter admits that, after the 1720s, England could claim thinkers to equal Diderot, Voltaire, or Rousseau. However, its leading intellectuals such as
Edward Gibbon Edward Gibbon (; 8 May 173716 January 1794) was an English historian, writer, and member of parliament. His most important work, ''The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'', published in six volumes between 1776 and 1788, is k ...
,
Edmund Burke Edmund Burke (; 12 January ew Style, NS1729 – 9 July 1797) was an Anglo-Irish people, Anglo-Irish Politician, statesman, economist, and philosopher. Born in Dublin, Burke served as a member of Parliament (MP) between 1766 and 1794 in the ...
and
Samuel Johnson Samuel Johnson (18 September 1709  – 13 December 1784), often called Dr Johnson, was an English writer who made lasting contributions as a poet, playwright, essayist, moralist, literary criticism, critic, biographer, editor and lexicogra ...
were all quite conservative and supportive of the standing order. Porter says the reason was that Enlightenment had come early to England and had succeeded so that the culture had accepted political liberalism, philosophical empiricism, and religious toleration of the sort that intellectuals on the continent had to fight for against powerful odds. Furthermore, England rejected the collectivism of the continent and emphasized the improvement of individuals as the main goal of enlightenment.


Scotland

In the Scottish Enlightenment, the principles of sociability, equality, and utility were disseminated in schools and universities, many of which used sophisticated teaching methods which blended philosophy with daily life. Scotland's major cities created an intellectual infrastructure of mutually supporting institutions such as schools, universities, reading societies, libraries, periodicals, museums, and masonic lodges. The Scottish network was "predominantly liberal Calvinist, Newtonian, and 'design' oriented in character which played a major role in the further development of the transatlantic Enlightenment".A. Herman, ''How the Scots Invented the Modern World'' (Crown Publishing Group, 2001). In France,
Voltaire François-Marie Arouet (; 21 November 169430 May 1778) was a French Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher. Known by his ''Pen name, nom de plume'' M. de Voltaire (; also ; ), he was famous for his wit, and his ...

Voltaire
said that "we look to Scotland for all our ideas of civilization". The focus of the Scottish Enlightenment ranged from intellectual and economic matters to the specifically scientific as in the work of
William Cullen William Cullen Fellow of the Royal Society, FRS FRSE FRCPE FPSG (; 15 April 17105 February 1790) was a Scottish physician, chemist and agriculturalist, and professor at the Edinburgh Medical School. Cullen was a central figure in the Scotti ...
, physician and chemist; James Anderson, an
agronomist An agriculturist, agriculturalist, agrologist, or agronomist (abbreviated as agr.), is a professional in the Agricultural science, science, practice, and management of Farming, agriculture and agribusiness. It is a regulated profession in Canada ...
;
Joseph Black Joseph Black (16 April 1728 – 6 December 1799) was a Scottish physicist and chemist, known for his discoveries of magnesium, latent heat, specific heat, and carbon dioxide. He was Professor of Anatomy and Chemistry at the University of Glas ...
, physicist and chemist; and
James Hutton James Hutton (; 3 June O.S.172614 June 1726 Old Style and New Style dates, New Style. – 26 March 1797) was a Scottish geologist, Agricultural science, agriculturalist, chemist, chemical manufacturer, Natural history, naturalist and physici ...
, the first modern geologist.J. Repcheck, ''The Man Who Found Time: James Hutton and the Discovery of the Earth's Antiquity'' (Basic Books, 2003), pp. 117–143.


Anglo-American colonies

Several Americans, especially
Benjamin Franklin Benjamin Franklin ( April 17, 1790) was an American polymath who was active as a writer, scientist, Invention, inventor, Statesman (politician), statesman, diplomat, printer (publishing), printer, publisher, and Political philosophy, politi ...
and
Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, philosopher, and Founding Fathers of the United States, Founding Father who served as the third president of the United States from 18 ...
, played a major role in bringing Enlightenment ideas to the New World and in influencing British and French thinkers. Franklin was influential for his political activism and for his advances in physics. The cultural exchange during the Age of Enlightenment ran in both directions across the Atlantic. Thinkers such as Paine, Locke, and Rousseau all take Native American cultural practices as examples of natural freedom. The Americans closely followed English and Scottish political ideas, as well as some French thinkers such as . As deists, they were influenced by ideas of John Toland (1670–1722) and Matthew Tindal (1656–1733). During the Enlightenment there was a great emphasis upon
liberty Liberty is the ability to do as one pleases, or a right or immunity enjoyed by prescription or by grant (i.e. privilege). It is a synonym for the word freedom. In modern politics, liberty is understood as the state of being free within society fr ...
,
republicanism Republicanism is a political ideology centered on citizenship in a state (polity), state organized as a republic. Historically, it emphasises the idea of self-rule and ranges from the rule of a representative minority or oligarchy to popular ...
, and
religious tolerance Religious toleration may signify "no more than forbearance and the permission given by the adherents of a dominant religion for other religions to exist, even though the latter are looked on with disapproval as inferior, mistaken, or harmful". ...
. There was no respect for monarchy or inherited political power.
Deists Deism ( or ; derived from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as ...
reconciled science and religion by rejecting prophecies, miracles, and biblical theology. Leading
deists Deism ( or ; derived from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as ...
included
Thomas Paine Thomas Paine (born Thomas Pain; – In the contemporary record as noted by Conway, Paine's birth date is given as January 29, 1736–37. Common practice was to use a dash or a slash to separate the old-style year from the new-style year. In th ...
in ''
The Age of Reason ''The Age of Reason; Being an Investigation of True and Fabulous Theology'' is a work by English and American political activist Thomas Paine Thomas Paine (born Thomas Pain; – In the contemporary record as noted by Conway, Paine's bi ...
'' and by Thomas Jefferson in his short '' Jefferson Bible'' – from which he removed all supernatural aspects.


German states

Prussia took the lead among the German states in sponsoring the political reforms that Enlightenment thinkers urged absolute rulers to adopt. There were important movements as well in the smaller states of Bavaria, Saxony, Hanover, and the Palatinate. In each case, Enlightenment values became accepted and led to significant political and administrative reforms that laid the groundwork for the creation of modern states. The princes of Saxony, for example, carried out an impressive series of fundamental fiscal, administrative, judicial, educational, cultural, and general economic reforms. The reforms were aided by the country's strong urban structure and influential commercial groups and modernized pre-1789 Saxony along the lines of classic Enlightenment principles. Before 1750, the German upper classes looked to France for intellectual, cultural, and architectural leadership, as French was the language of high society. By the mid-18th century, the ''Aufklärung'' (
The Enlightenment The Age of Enlightenment or the Enlightenment; german: Aufklärung, "Enlightenment"; it, L'Illuminismo, "Enlightenment"; pl, Oświecenie, "Enlightenment"; pt, Iluminismo, "Enlightenment"; es, La Ilustración, "Enlightenment" was an intel ...
) had transformed German high culture in music, philosophy, science, and literature. Christian Wolff (1679–1754) was the pioneer as a writer who expounded the Enlightenment to German readers and legitimized German as a philosophic language.
Johann Gottfried von Herder Johann Gottfried von Herder ( , ; 25 August 174418 December 1803) was a German philosopher, theologian, poet, and literary critic. He is associated with the Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment, ''Sturm und Drang'', and Weimar Classicism. Biogr ...
(1744–1803) broke new ground in philosophy and poetry, as a leader of the
Sturm und Drang ''Sturm und Drang'' (, ; usually translated as "storm and stress") was a proto-Romanticism, Romantic movement in German literature and Music of Germany, music that occurred between the late 1760s and early 1780s. Within the movement, individual ...
movement of proto-Romanticism.
Weimar Classicism Weimar Classicism (german: Weimarer Klassik) was a German literary movement, literary and cultural movement, whose practitioners established a new humanism from the synthesis of ideas from Romanticism, Classicism, and the Age of Enlightenment. I ...
(''Weimarer Klassik'') was a cultural and literary movement based in Weimar that sought to establish a new humanism by synthesizing Romantic, classical, and Enlightenment ideas. The movement (from 1772 until 1805) involved Herder as well as polymath
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (28 August 1749 – 22 March 1832) was a German people, German poet, playwright, novelist, scientist, politician, statesman, theatre director, and critic. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe bibliography, His works include pla ...
(1749–1832) and
Friedrich Schiller Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller (, short: ; 10 November 17599 May 1805) was a German playwright, poet, and philosopher. During the last seventeen years of his life (1788–1805), Schiller developed a productive, if complicated, friendsh ...
(1759–1805), a poet and historian. Herder argued that every group of people had its own particular identity, which was expressed in its language and culture. This legitimized the promotion of German language and culture and helped shape the development of German nationalism. Schiller's plays expressed the restless spirit of his generation, depicting the hero's struggle against social pressures and the force of destiny. German music, sponsored by the upper classes, came of age under composers
Johann Sebastian Bach Johann Sebastian Bach (28 July 1750) was a German composer and musician of the late baroque music, Baroque period. He is known for his orchestral music such as the ''Brandenburg Concertos''; instrumental compositions such as the Cello Suite ...
(1685–1750),
Joseph Haydn Franz Joseph Haydn ( , ; 31 March 173231 May 1809) was an Austrian composer of the Classical period (music), Classical period. He was instrumental in the development of chamber music such as the string quartet and piano trio. His contributions ...
(1732–1809), and
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (27 January 17565 December 1791), baptised as Joannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical period (music), Classical period. Despite his short life, his ra ...
(1756–1791). In remote
Königsberg Königsberg (, ) was the historic Prussian city that is now Kaliningrad, Russia. Königsberg was founded in 1255 on the site of the ancient Old Prussian settlement ''Twangste'' by the Teutonic Knights during the Northern Crusades, and was named ...
, philosopher
Immanuel Kant Immanuel Kant (, , ; 22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804) was a German Philosophy, philosopher and one of the central Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment thinkers. Born in Königsberg, Kant's comprehensive and systematic works in epistemolo ...

Immanuel Kant
(1724–1804) tried to reconcile rationalism and religious belief, individual freedom, and political authority. Kant's work contained basic tensions that would continue to shape German thought – and indeed all of European philosophy – well into the 20th century. The German Enlightenment won the support of princes, aristocrats, and the middle classes and it permanently reshaped the culture. However, there was a conservatism among the elites that warned against going too far. In the 1780s, Lutheran ministers Johann Heinrich Schulz and Karl Wilhelm Brumbey got in trouble with their preaching as they were attacked and ridiculed by Immanuel Kant, Wilhelm Abraham Teller and others. In 1788, Prussia issued an "Edict on Religion" that forbade preaching any sermon that undermined popular belief in the Holy Trinity and the Bible. The goal was to avoid skepticism, deism, and theological disputes that might impinge on domestic tranquility. Men who doubted the value of Enlightenment favoured the measure, but so too did many supporters. German universities had created a closed elite that could debate controversial issues among themselves, but spreading them to the public was seen as too risky. This intellectual elite was favoured by the state, but that might be reversed if the process of the Enlightenment proved politically or socially destabilizing.


Habsburg Empire

In the
Habsburg Empire The Habsburg monarchy (german: Habsburgermonarchie, ), also known as the Danubian monarchy (german: Donaumonarchie, ), or Habsburg Empire (german: Habsburgerreich, ), was the collection of empires, kingdoms, duchies, counties and other polities ...
, which controlled a large part of Europe at the time, chiefly around Austria, the rule of
Maria Theresa Maria Theresa Walburga Amalia Christina (german: Maria Theresia; 13 May 1717 – 29 November 1780) was ruler of the Habsburg monarchy, Habsburg dominions from 1740 until her death in 1780, and the only woman to hold the position ''suo jure'' ( ...
was the first age considered influenced by the Enlightenment in some areas, while still remaining quite conservative in others. The subsequent brief reign of her son
Joseph II Joseph II (German: Josef Benedikt Anton Michael Adam; English: ''Joseph Benedict Anthony Michael Adam''; 13 March 1741 – 20 February 1790) was Holy Roman Emperor from August 1765 and sole ruler of the Habsburg monarchy, Habsburg lands from No ...
was also marked by a conflict of these two paradigms, with
Josephinism Josephinism was the collective domestic policies of Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor (1765–1790). During the ten years in which Joseph was the sole ruler of the Habsburg monarchy (1780–1790), he attempted to legislate a series of drastic reforms ...
finding serious opposition. The brief and contentious rule of Leopold II, an early opponent of capital punishment, was still marked mostly by relations with France, likewise with Francis II.


Italy

In Italy the main centers of diffusion of the Enlightenment were
Naples Naples (; it, Napoli ; nap, Napule ), from grc, Νεάπολις, Neápolis, lit=new city. is the regional capital of Campania and the third-largest city of Italy, after Rome and Milan, with a population of 909,048 within the city's adminis ...
and
Milan Milan ( , , Lombard language, Lombard: ; it, Milano ) is a city in northern Italy, capital of Lombardy, and the List of cities in Italy, second-most populous city proper in Italy after Rome. The city proper has a population of about 1.4  ...
: in both cities the intellectuals took public office and collaborated with the Bourbon and Habsburg administrations. In Naples, Antonio Genovesi,
Ferdinando Galiani Ferdinando Galiani (2 December 1728, Chieti, Kingdom of Naples – 30 October 1787, Naples, Kingdom of Naples) was an Italian economist, a leading Italian figure of the Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment. Friedrich Nietzsche referred to him as "a ...
, and Gaetano Filangieri were active under the tolerant King Charles of Bourbon. However, the Neapolitan Enlightenment, like Vico's philosophy, remained almost always in the theoretical field. Only later, many Enlighteners animated the unfortunate experience of the
Parthenopean Republic The Parthenopean Republic ( it, Repubblica Partenopea, french: République Parthénopéenne) or Neapolitan Republic (''Repubblica Napoletana'') was a short-lived, semi-autonomous republic located within the Kingdom of Naples and supported by the ...
. In
Milan Milan ( , , Lombard language, Lombard: ; it, Milano ) is a city in northern Italy, capital of Lombardy, and the List of cities in Italy, second-most populous city proper in Italy after Rome. The city proper has a population of about 1.4  ...
, however, the movement strove to find concrete solutions to problems. The center of discussions was the magazine '' Il Caffè'' (1762–1764), founded by brothers Pietro and
Alessandro Verri Alessandro Verri (9 November 1741 – 23 September 1816) was an Italian author. Born in Milan Milan ( , , Lombard language, Lombard: ; it, Milano ) is a city in northern Italy, capital of Lombardy, and the List of cities in Italy, second ...
(famous philosophers and writers, as well as their brother Giovanni), who also gave life to the Accademia dei Pugni, founded in 1761. Minor centers were
Tuscany Tuscany ( ; it, Toscana ) is a Regions of Italy, region in central Italy with an area of about and a population of about 3.8 million inhabitants. The regional capital is Florence (''Firenze''). Tuscany is known for its landscapes, history, art ...
,
Veneto Veneto (, ; vec, Vèneto ) or Venetia is one of the 20 regions of Italy. Its population is about five million, ranking fourth in Italy. The region's capital is Venice while the biggest city is Verona. Veneto was part of the Roman Empire unt ...
, and
Piedmont Piedmont ( ; it, Piemonte, ) is a region of Northwest Italy, one of the regions of Italy, 20 regions of the country. It borders the Liguria region to the south, the Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna regions to the east and the Aosta Valley region to th ...
, where among others, Pompeo Neri worked. From Naples, Antonio Genovesi (1713–1769) influenced a generation of southern Italian intellectuals and university students. His textbook ''Della diceosina, o sia della Filosofia del Giusto e dell'Onesto'' (1766) was a controversial attempt to mediate between the history of moral philosophy on the one hand and the specific problems encountered by 18th-century commercial society on the other. It contained the greater part of Genovesi's political, philosophical, and economic thought – guidebook for Neapolitan economic and social development. Science flourished as
Alessandro Volta Alessandro Giuseppe Antonio Anastasio Volta (, ; 18 February 1745 – 5 March 1827) was an Italian physicist, chemist and lay List of lay Catholic scientists, Catholic who was a pioneer of electricity and Power (physics), power who is credite ...
and
Luigi Galvani Luigi Galvani (, also ; ; la, Aloysius Galvanus; 9 September 1737 – 4 December 1798) was an Italian physician, physicist, biologist and philosopher, who studied Galvanism, animal electricity. In 1780, he discovered that the muscles of dead fr ...
made break-through discoveries in electricity.
Pietro Verri Count Count (feminine: countess) is a historical title of nobility in certain European countries, varying in relative status, generally of middling rank in the hierarchy of nobility.L. G. Pine, Pine, L. G. ''Titles: How the King Became His ...
was a leading economist in Lombardy. Historian
Joseph Schumpeter Joseph Alois Schumpeter (; February 8, 1883 – January 8, 1950) was an Austrian-born political economist. He served briefly as Finance Minister of German-Austria in 1919. In 1932, he emigrated to the United States to become a professor at ...
states he was "the most important pre-Smithian authority on Cheapness-and-Plenty". The most influential scholar on the Italian Enlightenment has been Franco Venturi. Italy also produced some of the Enlightenment's greatest legal theorists, including
Cesare Beccaria Cesare Bonesana di Beccaria, Marquis of Gualdrasco and Villareggio (; 15 March 173828 November 1794) was an Italian criminologist, jurist, philosopher, economist and politician, who is widely considered one of the greatest thinkers of the Age of ...

Cesare Beccaria
,
Giambattista Vico Giambattista Vico (born Giovan Battista Vico ; ; 23 June 1668 – 23 January 1744) was an Italian people, Italian philosopher, rhetorician, historian, and jurist during the Italian enlightenment, Italian Enlightenment. He criticized the expansion ...
, and Francesco Mario Pagano. Beccaria in particular is now considered one of the fathers of classical criminal theory as well as modern
penology Penology (from "penal", Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) arou ...
. Beccaria is famous for his masterpiece '' On Crimes and Punishments'' (1764), a treatise (later translated into 22 languages) that served as one of the earliest prominent condemnations of torture and the death penalty and thus a landmark work in anti-death penalty philosophy.


Spain and Spanish America

When Charles II the last Spanish Hapsburg monarch died in 1700, it touched out a major European conflict about succession and the fate of Spain and the
Spanish Empire The Spanish Empire ( es, link=no, Imperio español), also known as the Hispanic Monarchy ( es, link=no, Monarquía Hispánica) or the Catholic Monarchy ( es, link=no, Monarquía Católica) was a colonial empire governed by Spain and its History ...
. The
War of the Spanish Succession The War of the Spanish Succession was a European great power conflict that took place from 1701 to 1714. The death of childless Charles II of Spain in November 1700 led to a struggle for control of the Spanish Empire between his heirs, Phili ...
(1700–1715) brought Bourbon prince Philip, Duke of Anjou to the throne of Spain as Philip V. Under the 1715
Treaty of Utrecht The Peace of Utrecht was a series of peace treaty, peace treaties signed by the belligerents in the War of the Spanish Succession, in the Dutch city of Utrecht between April 1713 and February 1715. The war involved three contenders for the va ...
, the French and the Spanish Bourbons could not unite, with Philip renouncing any rights to the French throne. The political restriction did not impede strong French influence of the Age of Enlightenment on Spain, the Spanish monarchs, the Spanish Empire. Philip did not come into effective power until 1715 and began implementing administrative reforms to try to stop the decline of the Spanish Empire. Under
Charles III Charles III (Charles Philip Arthur George; born 14 November 1948) is King of the United Kingdom and the 14 other Commonwealth realms. He was the longest-serving heir apparent and Prince of Wales and, at age 73, became the oldest person to a ...
, the crown began to implement serious structural changes, generally known as the
Bourbon Reforms The Bourbon Reforms ( es, Reformas Borbónicas) consisted of political and economic changes promulgated by the Spanish Monarchy, Spanish Crown under various kings of the House of Bourbon, since 1700, mainly in the 18th century. The beginning of ...
. The crown curtailed the power of the Catholic Church and the clergy, established a standing military in Spanish America, established new viceroyalties and reorganized administrative districts into intendancies. Freer trade was promoted under ''comercio libre'' in which regions could trade with companies sailing from any other Spanish port, rather than the restrictive mercantile system limiting trade. The crown sent out scientific expeditions to assert Spanish sovereignty over territories it claimed but did not control, but also importantly to discover the economic potential of its far-flung empire. Botanical expeditions sought plants that could be of use to the empire. One of the best acts by Charles IV, a monarch not notable for his good judgment, was to give Prussian scientist, Baron
Alexander von Humboldt Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt (14 September 17696 May 1859) was a German polymath, geographer, naturalist, explorer Exploration refers to the historical practice of discovering remote lands. It is studied by geographe ...
, free rein to travel and gather information about the Spanish Empire during his five-year, self-funded expedition. Crown officials were to aid Humboldt in any way they could, so that he was able to get access to expert information. Given that Spain's empire was closed to foreigners, Humboldt's unfettered access is quite remarkable. His observations of New Spain, published as the ''Political Essay on the Kingdom of New Spain'' remains an important scientific and historical text. When Napoleon invaded Spain in 1808,
Ferdinand VII Ferdinand VII ( es, Fernando VII; 14 October 1784 – 29 September 1833) was a Monarchy of Spain, King of Spain during the early 19th century. He reigned briefly in 1808 and then again from 1813 to his death in 1833. He was known to his supporter ...
abdicated and Napoleon placed his brother
Joseph Bonaparte Joseph-Napoléon Bonaparte (born Giuseppe di Buonaparte, ; co, Ghjuseppe Nabulione Bonaparte; es, José Napoleón Bonaparte; 7 January 176828 July 1844) was a French statesman, lawyer, diplomat and older brother of Napoleon Bonaparte. During the ...
on the throne. To add legitimacy to this move, the
Bayonne Constitution The Bayonne Statute ( es, Estatuto de Bayona),Ignacio Fernández Sarasola Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes. Retrieved 2010-03-12. also called the Bayonne Constitution () or the Bayonne Charter (), was a constitution A constitution is ...
was promulgated, which included representation from Spain's overseas components, but most Spaniards rejected the whole Napoleonic project. A war of national resistance erupted. The Cortes de Cádiz (parliament) was convened to rule Spain in the absence of the legitimate monarch, Ferdinand. It created a new governing document, the Constitution of 1812, which laid out three branches of government: executive, legislative, and judicial, put limits on the king by creating a
constitutional monarchy A constitutional monarchy, parliamentary monarchy, or democratic monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exercises their authority in accordance with a constitution and is not alone in decision making. Constitutional monarchies dif ...
, defined citizens as those in the Spanish Empire without African ancestry, established
universal manhood suffrage Universal manhood suffrage is a form of voting rights in which all adult male citizens within a political system are allowed to vote, regardless of income, property, religion, race, or any other qualification. It is sometimes summarized by the slog ...
, and established public education starting with primary school through university as well as freedom of expression. The constitution was in effect from 1812 until 1814, when Napoleon was defeated and Ferdinand was restored to the throne of Spain. Upon his return, Ferdinand repudiated the constitution and reestablished absolutist rule. The French invasion of Spain sparked a crisis of legitimacy of rule in Spanish America, with many regions establishing juntas to rule in the name of Ferdinand VII. Most of Spanish America fought for
independence Independence is a condition of a person, nation, country, or Sovereign state, state in which residents and population, or some portion thereof, exercise self-government, and usually sovereignty, over its territory. The opposite of independ ...
, leaving only Cuba and Puerto Rico, as well as the Philippines as overseas components of the Spanish Empire until
1898 Events January–March * January 1 – New York City annexes land from surrounding counties, creating the City of Greater New York as the world's second largest. The city is geographically divided into five boroughs: Manhattan, B ...
. All of newly independent and sovereign nations became republics by 1824, with written constitutions. Mexico's brief post-independence
monarchy A monarchy is a government#Forms, form of government in which a person, the monarch, is head of state for life or until abdication. The legitimacy (political)#monarchy, political legitimacy and authority of the monarch may vary from restric ...
was overthrown and replaced by a federal republic under the
Constitution of 1824 The Federal Constitution of the United Mexican States of 1824 ( es, Constitución Federal de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos de 1824) was enacted on October 4 of 1824, after the overthrow of the Mexican Empire of Agustin de Iturbide. In the new F ...
, inspired by both the U.S. and Spanish constitutions.


Haiti

The
Haitian Revolution The Haitian Revolution (french: révolution haïtienne ; ht, revolisyon ayisyen) was a successful insurrection by self-liberated slaves against French colonial rule in Saint-Domingue, now the sovereign state of Haiti. The revolt began on ...
began in 1791 and ended in 1804 and shows how Enlightenment ideas "were part of complex transcultural flows." Radical ideas in Paris during and after the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, ...

French Revolution
were mobilized in Haiti, such as by
Toussaint L'Ouverture François-Dominique Toussaint Louverture (; also known as Toussaint L'Ouverture or Toussaint Bréda; 20 May 1743 – 7 April 1803) was a Haitian general and the most prominent leader of the Haitian Revolution. During his life, Louverture ...
. Toussaint had read the critique of European colonialism in Guillaume Thomas Raynal's book '' Histoire des deux Indes'' and "was particularly impressed by Raynal's prediction of the coming of a 'Black Spartacus. The revolution combined Enlightenment ideas with the experiences of the slaves in Haiti, two-thirds of whom had been born in Africa and could "draw on specific notions of kingdom and just government from Western and Central Africa, and to employ religious practices such as voodoo for the formation of revolutionary communities." The revolution also affected France and "forced the French National Convention to abolish slavery in 1794."


Portugal

The Enlightenment in Portugal (''Iluminismo'') was heavily marked by the rule of the Prime Minister
Marquis of Pombal Count of Oeiras () was a Portuguese title of nobility created by a royal decree, dated July 15, 1759, by King Joseph I of Portugal, and granted to Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, head of the Portuguese government. Later, through another roya ...
under King
Joseph I of Portugal Dom (title), Dom Joseph I ( pt, José Francisco António Inácio Norberto Agostinho, ; 6 June 1714 – 24 February 1777), known as the Reformer (Portuguese: ''o Reformador''), was King of Portugal from 31 July 1750 until his death in 1777. Amon ...
from 1756 to 1777. Following the
1755 Lisbon earthquake The 1755 Lisbon earthquake, also known as the Great Lisbon earthquake, impacted Portugal, the Iberian Peninsula, and Northwest Africa on the morning of Saturday, 1 November, All Saints' Day, Feast of All Saints, at around 09:40 local time. In ...
which destroyed a large part of Lisbon, the Marquis of Pombal implemented important economic policies to regulate commercial activity (in particular with Brazil and England), and to standardise quality throughout the country (for example by introducing the first integrated industries in Portugal). His reconstruction of
Lisbon Lisbon (; pt, Lisboa ) is the capital and largest city of Portugal, with an estimated population of 544,851 within its administrative limits in an area of 100.05 km2. Grande Lisboa, Lisbon's urban area extends beyond the city's administr ...
's riverside district in straight and perpendicular streets (the
Lisbon Baixa The Baixa ''(Downtown)'' (), also known as the Baixa Pombalina (''Pombaline Downtown'') is a neighborhood in the historic center of Lisbon Lisbon (; pt, Lisboa ) is the capital and largest city of Portugal, with an estimated population of 5 ...
), methodically organized to facilitate commerce and exchange (for example by assigning to each street a different product or service), can be seen as a direct application of the Enlightenment ideas to governance and urbanism. His urbanistic ideas, also being the first large-scale example of
earthquake engineering Earthquake engineering is an Interdisciplinarity, interdisciplinary branch of engineering that designs and analyzes structures, such as buildings and bridges, with earthquakes in mind. Its overall goal is to make such structures more resistant to ...
, became collectively known as Pombaline style, and were implemented throughout the kingdom during his stay in office. His governance was as enlightened as ruthless, see for example the Távora affair. In literature, the first Enlightenment ideas in Portugal can be traced back to the diplomat, philosopher, and writer António Vieira (1608–1697), who spent a considerable amount of his life in
colonial Brazil Colonial Brazil ( pt, Brasil Colonial) comprises the period from 1500, with the arrival of the Portuguese, until 1815, when Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest countr ...
denouncing discriminations against
New Christians New Christian ( es, Cristiano Nuevo; pt, Cristão-Novo; ca, Cristià Nou; lad, Christiano Muevo) was a socio-religious designation and legal distinction in the Spanish Empire and the Portuguese Empire. The term was used from the 15th century ...
and the
Indigenous peoples in Brazil Indigenous peoples in Brazil ( pt, povos indígenas no Brasil) or Indigenous Brazilians ( pt, indígenas brasileiros, links=no) once comprised an estimated 2000 ethnic group, tribes and nations inhabiting what is now the country of Brazil, befor ...
. His works remain today as one of the best pieces of Portuguese literature. During the 18th century, enlightened literary movements such as the Arcádia Lusitana (lasting from 1756 until 1776, then replaced by the Nova Arcádia in 1790 until 1794) surfaced in the academic medium, in particular involving former students of the
University of Coimbra The University of Coimbra (UC; pt, Universidade de Coimbra, ) is a Public university, public research university in Coimbra, Portugal. First established in Lisbon in 1290, it went through a number of relocations until moving permanently to Coi ...
. A distinct member of this group was the poet Manuel Maria Barbosa du Bocage. The physician António Nunes Ribeiro Sanches was also an important Enlightenment figure, contributing to the ''Encyclopédie'' and being part of the Russian court. The ideas of the Enlightenment also influenced various economists and anti-colonial intellectuals throughout the
Portuguese Empire The Portuguese Empire ( pt, Império Português), also known as the Portuguese Overseas (''Ultramar Português'') or the Portuguese Colonial Empire (''Império Colonial Português''), was composed of the overseas Colonialism, colonies, Factory ...
, such as José de Azeredo Coutinho, José da Silva Lisboa, Cláudio Manoel da Costa, and Tomás Antônio Gonzaga. The Napoleonic invasion of Portugal had consequences for the Portuguese monarchy. With the aid of the British navy, the Portuguese royal family was evacuated to Brazil, its most important colony. Even though Napoleon had been defeated, the royal court remained in Brazil. The
Liberal Revolution of 1820 The Liberal Revolution of 1820 ( pt, Revolução Liberal) was a Portugal, Portuguese political revolution that erupted in 1820. It began with a military insurrection in the city of Porto, in northern Portugal, that quickly and peacefully spread to ...
forced the return of the royal family to Portugal. The terms by which the restored king was to rule was a
constitutional monarchy A constitutional monarchy, parliamentary monarchy, or democratic monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exercises their authority in accordance with a constitution and is not alone in decision making. Constitutional monarchies dif ...
under the Constitution of Portugal. Brazil declared its independence of Portugal in 1822, and became a monarchy.


Russia

In Russia, the government began to actively encourage the proliferation of arts and sciences in the mid-18th century. This era produced the first Russian university, library, theatre, public museum, and independent press. Like other enlightened despots,
Catherine the Great Catherine II (born Sophie of Anhalt-Zerbst; 2 May 172917 November 1796), most commonly known as Catherine the Great, was the reigning empress of Russia from 1762 to 1796. She came to power following the overthrow of her husband, Peter III of Rus ...
played a key role in fostering the arts, sciences and education. She used her own interpretation of Enlightenment ideals, assisted by notable international experts such as Voltaire (by correspondence) and in residence world class scientists such as
Leonhard Euler Leonhard Euler ( , ; 15 April 170718 September 1783) was a Swiss mathematician, physicist, astronomer, geographer, logician and engineer who founded the studies of graph theory and topology and made pioneering and influential discoveries in ma ...
and
Peter Simon Pallas Peter Simon Pallas Fellow of the Royal Society, FRS FRSE (22 September 1741 – 8 September 1811) was a Prussian zoologist and botanist who worked in Russia between 1767 and 1810. Life and work Peter Simon Pallas was born in Berlin, the son ...
. The national Enlightenment differed from its Western European counterpart in that it promoted further modernization of all aspects of Russian life and was concerned with attacking the institution of
serfdom in Russia The term ''serf'', in the sense of an unfree peasant of tsarism , tsarist history of Russia , Russia, is the usual English-language translation of () which meant an unfree person who, unlike a slave, historically could be sold only with the lan ...
. The Russian Enlightenment centered on the individual instead of societal enlightenment and encouraged the living of an enlightened life. A powerful element was ''prosveshchenie'' which combined religious piety, erudition, and commitment to the spread of learning. However, it lacked the skeptical and critical spirit of the Western European Enlightenment.


Poland and Lithuania

Enlightenment ideas (''oświecenie'') emerged late in
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative provinces called Voivodeships of Poland, voivodeships, covering an area of . Poland has a population of over 38 million and is ...
, as the Polish middle class was weaker and
szlachta The ''szlachta'' (Polish: endonym, Lithuanian language, Lithuanian: šlėkta) were the nobility, noble Estates of the realm, estate of the realm in the Kingdom of Poland (1025–1385), Kingdom of Poland, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and the ...
(nobility) culture (
Sarmatism Sarmatism (or Sarmatianism; pl, Sarmatyzm; lt, Sarmatizmas) was an ethno-cultural ideology within the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. It was the dominant Baroque in Poland, Baroque culture and ideology of the nobility () that existed in ...
) together with the
Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, formally known as the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and, after 1791, as the Commonwealth of Poland, was a bi-confederal state, sometimes called a federation, of Crown of the Kingdom of ...
political system (
Golden Liberty Golden Liberty ( la, Aurea Libertas; pl, Złota Wolność, lt, Auksinė laisvė), sometimes referred to as Golden Freedoms, Nobles' Democracy or Nobles' Commonwealth ( pl, Rzeczpospolita szlachta, Szlachecka or ''Złota wolność szlachecka'') w ...
) were in deep crisis. The political system was built on aristocratic
republicanism Republicanism is a political ideology centered on citizenship in a state (polity), state organized as a republic. Historically, it emphasises the idea of self-rule and ranges from the rule of a representative minority or oligarchy to popular ...
, but was unable to defend itself against powerful neighbors Russia, Prussia, and Austria as they repeatedly sliced off regions until nothing was left of independent Poland. The period of Polish Enlightenment began in the 1730s–1740s and especially in theatre and the arts peaked in the reign of King Stanisław August Poniatowski (second half of the 18th century). Warsaw was a main centre after 1750, with an expansion of schools and educational institutions and the arts patronage held at the Royal Castle. Leaders promoted tolerance and more education. They included King Stanislaw II Poniatowski and reformers Piotr Switkowski, Antoni Poplawski, Josef Niemcewicz, and Jósef Pawlinkowski, as well as Baudouin de Cortenay, a Polonized dramatist. Opponents included Florian Jaroszewicz, Gracjan Piotrowski, Karol Wyrwicz, and Wojciech Skarszewski. The movement went into decline with the
Third Partition of Poland The Third Partition of Poland (1795) was the last in a series of the Partitions of Poland, Partitions of Poland–Lithuania and the land of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth among Prussia, the Habsburg monarchy, and the Russian Empire which ef ...
(1795) – a national tragedy inspiring a short period of sentimental writing – and ended in 1822, replaced by
Romanticism Romanticism (also known as the Romantic movement or Romantic era) was an artistic, literary, musical, and intellectual movement that originated in Europe towards the end of the 18th century, and in most areas was at its peak in the approximate ...
.Jerzy Snopek
"The Polish Literature of the Enlightenment."
(PDF 122 KB) ''Poland.pl.''


China

Eighteenth-century China experienced "a trend towards seeing fewer dragons and miracles, not unlike the disenchantment that began to spread across the Europe of the Enlightenment." Furthermore, "some of the developments that we associate with Europe's Enlightenment resemble events in China remarkably." During this time, ideals of Chinese society were reflected in "the reign of the
Qing The Qing dynasty ( ), officially the Great Qing,, was a Manchu people, Manchu-led Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China and the last orthodox dynasty in Chinese history. It emerged from the Later Jin (1616–1636), La ...
emperors
Kangxi The Kangxi Emperor (4 May 1654– 20 December 1722), also known by his Temple name, temple name Emperor Shengzu of Qing, born Xuanye, was the third List of emperors of the Qing dynasty, emperor of the Qing dynasty, and the second Qing emperor ...
(1661–1722) and
Qianlong The Qianlong Emperor (25 September 17117 February 1799), also known by his Temple name, temple name Emperor Gaozong of Qing, born Hongli, was the fifth List of emperors of the Qing dynasty, Emperor of the Qing dynasty and the fourth Qing empe ...
(1736–1795); China was posited as the incarnation of an enlightened and
meritocratic Meritocracy (''merit'', from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latiu ...
society—and instrumentalized for criticisms of absolutist rule in Europe."


Japan

From 1641 to 1853, the
Tokugawa shogunate The Tokugawa shogunate (, Japanese 徳川幕府 ''Tokugawa bakufu''), also known as the , was the military government of Japan during the Edo period from 1603 to 1868.Louis-Frédéric, Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005)"''Tokugawa-jidai''"in ''Ja ...
of
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally , ''Nihonkoku'') is an island country in East Asia. It is situated in the northwest Pacific Ocean, and is bordered on the west by the Sea of Japan, while extending from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north ...
enforced a policy called '' kaikin''. The policy prohibited foreign contact with most outside countries. Robert Bellah found "origins of modern Japan in certain strands of
Confucian Confucianism, also known as Ruism or Ru classicism, is a system of thought and behavior originating in ancient China. Variously described as tradition, a philosophy, a Religious Confucianism, religion, a humanistic or rationalistic religion, ...
thinking, a 'functional analogue to the Protestant Ethic' that Max Weber singled out as the driving force behind Western capitalism." Japanese Confucian and Enlightenment ideas were brought together, for example, in the work of the Japanese reformer Tsuda Mamichi in the 1870s, who said, "Whenever we open our mouths...it is to speak of 'enlightenment. In Japan and much of East Asia, Confucian ideas were not replaced but "ideas associated with the Enlightenment were instead fused with the existing cosmology—which in turn was refashioned under conditions of
global Global means of or referring to a globe and may also refer to: Entertainment * Global (Paul van Dyk album), ''Global'' (Paul van Dyk album), 2003 * Global (Bunji Garlin album), ''Global'' (Bunji Garlin album), 2007 * Global (Humanoid album), ''Gl ...
interaction." In Japan in particular, the term ''ri'', which is the Confucian idea of "order and harmony on human society" also came to represent "the idea of
laissez-faire ''Laissez-faire'' ( ; from french: laissez faire , ) is an economic system in which transactions between private groups of people are free from any form of economic interventionism (such as Subsidy, subsidies) deriving from special interest ...
and the rationality of market exchange." By the 1880s, the slogan "
Civilization A civilization (or civilisation) is any complex society characterized by the development of a state, social stratification, urbanization Urbanization (or urbanisation) refers to the population shift from Rural area, rural to urban are ...
and Enlightenment" became potent throughout Japan, China, and Korea and was employed to address challenges of
globalization Globalization, or globalisation ( Commonwealth English; see spelling differences), is the process of interaction and integration among people, companies, and governments worldwide. The term ''globalization'' first appeared in the early 2 ...
.


Korea

During this time, Korea "aimed at isolation" and was known as the " hermit kingdom", but became awakened to Enlightenment ideas by the 1890s such as with the activities of the
Independence Club The Independence Association (독립협회, 獨立協會) was founded through the initiative of Philip Jaisohn (Seo Jae-pil) on July 2, 1896. At its founding it was recognized by the Joseon, Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Despite some remark ...
. Korea was influenced by China and Japan but also found its own Enlightenment path with the Korean intellectual Yu Kilchun who popularized the term Enlightenment throughout Korea. The use of Enlightenment ideas was a "response to a specific situation in Korea in the 1890s, and not a belated answer to Voltaire."


India

In eighteenth-century India,
Tipu Sultan Tipu Sultan (born Sultan Fateh Ali Sahab Tipu, 1 December 1751 – 4 May 1799), also known as the Tiger of Mysore, was the ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore based in South India. He was a pioneer of rocket artillery.Dalrymple, p. 243 He int ...
was an enlightened monarch, who "was one of the founding members of the (French)
Jacobin Club , logo = JacobinVignette03.jpg , logo_size = 180px , logo_caption = Seal of the Jacobin Club (1792–1794) , motto = "Live free or die"(french: Vivre libre ou mourir) , successor = Pa ...
in Seringapatam, had planted a liberty tree, and asked to be addressed as 'Tipu Citoyen, which means Citizen Tipu. In parts of India, an important movement called the "
Bengal Renaissance Bengal ( ; bn, বাংলা/বঙ্গ, translit=Bānglā/Bôngô, ) is a geopolitical, cultural and historical region in South Asia South Asia is the southern subregion of Asia Asia (, ) is one of the world's most not ...
" led to Enlightenment reforms beginning in the 1820s.
Rammohan Roy Raja Ram Mohan Roy ( bn, রামমোহন রায়; 22 May 1772 – 27 September 1833) was an Indian reformer who was one of the founders of the Brahmo Samaj, Brahmo Sabha in 1828, the precursor of the Brahmo Samaj, a social-relig ...
was a reformer who "fused different traditions in his project of social reform that made him a proponent of a 'religion of reason.


Egypt

Eighteenth-century Egypt had "a form of 'cultural revival' in the making—specifically
Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centred primarily around the Quran, a religious text considered by Muslims to be the direct word of God in Islam, God (or ''Allah'') as it was revealed to Muh ...
ic origins of modernization long before Napoleon's Egyptian campaign." Napoleon's expedition into Egypt further encouraged "social transformations that harked back to debates about inner-Islamic reform, but now were also legitimized by referring to the authority of the Enlightenment." A major intellectual influence on
Islamic modernism Islamic modernism is a movement that has been described as "the first Muslim Muslims ( ar, المسلمون, , ) are people who adhere to Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion cent ...
and expanding the Enlightenment in Egypt, Rifa al-Tahtawi "oversaw the publication of hundreds of European works in the Arabic language."


Ottoman Empire

The Enlightenment began to influence the Ottoman Empire in the 1830s and continued into the late nineteenth century. Namik Kemal, a
political activist A political movement is a collective attempt by a group of people to change government policy or social values. Political movements are usually in opposition to an element of the status quo is a Latin phrase meaning the existing state of aff ...
and member of the
Young Ottomans The Young Ottomans () were a secret society established in 1865 by a group of Ottoman Turkish intellectuals who were dissatisfied with the Tanzimat The Tanzimat (; ota, تنظيمات, translit=Tanzimāt, lit=Reorganization, ''see'' wikt: ...
, drew on major Enlightenment thinkers and "a variety of intellectual resources in his quest for social and political reform." In 1893, Kemal responded to
Ernest Renan Joseph Ernest Renan (; 27 February 18232 October 1892) was a French Oriental studies, Orientalist and Semitic studies, Semitic scholar, expert of Semitic languages and Ancient Semitic-speaking peoples, civilizations, historian of religion, philo ...
, who had indicted the Islamic religion, with his own version of the Enlightenment, which "was not a poor copy of French debates in the eighteenth century, but an original position responding to the exigencies of Ottoman society in the late nineteenth century."


Historiography

The Enlightenment has always been contested territory. According to Keith Thomas, its supporters "hail it as the source of everything that is progressive about the modern world. For them, it stands for freedom of thought, rational inquiry, critical thinking, religious tolerance, political liberty, scientific achievement, the pursuit of happiness, and hope for the future." Thomas adds that its detractors accuse it of shallow rationalism, naïve optimism, unrealistic universalism, and moral darkness. From the start, conservative and clerical defenders of traditional religion attacked materialism and skepticism as evil forces that encouraged immorality. By 1794, they pointed to the Terror during the French Revolution as confirmation of their predictions. As the Enlightenment was ending, Romantic philosophers argued that excessive dependence on reason was a mistake perpetuated by the Enlightenment because it disregarded the bonds of history, myth, faith, and tradition that were necessary to hold society together.Thomas, 2014 Ritchie Robertson portrays it as a grand intellectual and political program, offering a "science" of society modeled on the powerful physical laws of Newton. "Social science" was seen as the instrument of human improvement. It would expose truth and expand human happiness.


Definition

The term "Enlightenment" emerged in English in the later part of the 19th century, with particular reference to French philosophy, as the equivalent of the French term '' Lumières'' (used first by Dubos in 1733 and already well established by 1751). From
Immanuel Kant Immanuel Kant (, , ; 22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804) was a German Philosophy, philosopher and one of the central Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment thinkers. Born in Königsberg, Kant's comprehensive and systematic works in epistemolo ...

Immanuel Kant
's 1784 essay "Beantwortung der Frage: Was ist Aufklärung?" (" Answering the Question: What is Enlightenment?"), the German term became ''Aufklärun''g (''aufklären''=to illuminate; ''sich aufklären''=to clear up). However, scholars have never agreed on a definition of the Enlightenment, or on its chronological or geographical extent. Terms like ''les Lumières'' (French), ''illuminism''o (Italian), ''ilustración'' (Spanish) and ''Aufklärung'' (German) referred to partly overlapping movements. Not until the late nineteenth century did English scholars agree they were talking about "the Enlightenment". Enlightenment historiography began in the period itself, from what Enlightenment figures said about their work. A dominant element was the intellectual angle they took. D'Alembert's ''Preliminary Discourse'' of ''l'Encyclopédie'' provides a history of the Enlightenment which comprises a chronological list of developments in the realm of knowledge – of which the ''Encyclopédie'' forms the pinnacle. In 1783, Jewish philosopher
Moses Mendelssohn Moses Mendelssohn (6 September 1729 – 4 January 1786) was a German-Jewish philosopher and theologian. His writings and ideas on Jews and the Jewish religion and identity were a central element in the development of the ''Haskalah'', or 'Je ...
referred to Enlightenment as a process by which man was educated in the use of reason. Immanuel Kant called Enlightenment "man's release from his self-incurred tutelage", tutelage being "man's inability to make use of his understanding without direction from another". "For Kant, Enlightenment was mankind's final coming of age, the emancipation of the human consciousness from an immature state of ignorance". The German scholar
Ernst Cassirer Ernst Alfred Cassirer ( , ; July 28, 1874 – April 13, 1945) was a German philosopher. Trained within the Neo-Kantian Marburg School, he initially followed his mentor Hermann Cohen in attempting to supply an idealistic philosophy of science. Aft ...
called the Enlightenment "a part and a special phase of that whole intellectual development through which modern philosophic thought gained its characteristic self-confidence and self-consciousness". According to historian
Roy Porter Roy Sydney Porter, FBA (31 December 1946 – 3 March 2002) was a British historian known for his work on the history of medicine The history of medicine is both a study of medicine throughout history as well as a multidisciplinary field of ...
, the liberation of the human mind from a dogmatic state of ignorance, is the epitome of what the Age of Enlightenment was trying to capture.
Bertrand Russell Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970) was a British mathematician, philosopher, logician, and public intellectual. He had a considerable influence on mathematics, logic, set theory, linguistics, ar ...
saw the Enlightenment as a phase in a progressive development which began in antiquity and that reason and challenges to the established order were constant ideals throughout that time.Russell, Bertrand. ''A History of Western Philosophy''. pp. 492–494 Russell said that the Enlightenment was ultimately born out of the Protestant reaction against the Catholic
Counter-Reformation The Counter-Reformation (), also called the Catholic Reformation () or the Catholic Revival, was the period of Catholic resurgence that was initiated in response to the Protestant Reformation. It began with the Council of Trent (1545–1563) a ...
and that philosophical views such as affinity for democracy against monarchy originated among 16th-century Protestants to justify their desire to break away from the Catholic Church. Although many of these philosophical ideals were picked up by Catholics, Russell argues that by the 18th century the Enlightenment was the principal manifestation of the schism that began with
Martin Luther Martin Luther (; ; 10 November 1483 – 18 February 1546) was a German priest, theologian, author, hymnwriter, and professor, and Order of Saint Augustine, Augustinian friar. He is the seminal figure of the Reformation, Protestant Refo ...
. Jonathan Israel rejects the attempts of postmodern and Marxian historians to understand the revolutionary ideas of the period purely as by-products of social and economic transformations. He instead focuses on the
history of ideas Intellectual history (also the history of ideas) is the study of the history of human thought and of intellectuals, people who conceptualize, discuss, write about, and concern themselves with ideas. The investigative premise of intellectual histor ...
in the period from 1650 to the end of the 18th century and claims that it was the ideas themselves that caused the change that eventually led to the revolutions of the latter half of the 18th century and the early 19th century. Israel argues that until the 1650s Western civilization "was based on a largely shared core of faith, tradition, and authority".


Time span

There is little consensus on the precise beginning of the Age of Enlightenment, though several historians and philosophers argue that it was marked by Descartes' 1637 philosophy of '' Cogito, ergo sum'' ("I think, therefore I am"), which shifted the
epistemological Epistemology (; ), or the theory of knowledge, is the branch of philosophy concerned with knowledge. Epistemology is considered a major subfield of philosophy, along with other major subfields such as ethics Ethics or moral philosophy ...
basis from external authority to internal certainty.Martin Heidegger 938(2002) ''The Age of the World Picture'' quotation:Ingraffia, Brian D. (1995
''Postmodern theory and biblical theology: vanquishing God's shadow''
p. 126
In France, many cited the publication of
Isaac Newton Sir Isaac Newton (25 December 1642 – 20 March 1726/27) was an English mathematician, physicist, astronomer, alchemist, Theology, theologian, and author (described in his time as a "natural philosophy, natural philosopher"), widely ...

Isaac Newton
's '' Principia Mathematica'' (1687), which built upon the work of earlier scientists and formulated the laws of motion and
universal gravitation Newton's law of universal gravitation is usually stated as that every particle attracts every other particle in the universe with a force that is Proportionality (mathematics)#Direct proportionality, proportional to the product of their masses an ...
. The middle of the 17th century (1650) or the beginning of the 18th century (1701) are often used as epochs. French historians usually place the ''Siècle des Lumières'' ("Century of Enlightenments") between 1715 and 1789: from the beginning of the reign of
Louis XV Louis XV (15 February 1710 – 10 May 1774), known as Louis the Beloved (french: le Bien-Aimé), was King of France from 1 September 1715 until his death in 1774. He succeeded his great-grandfather Louis XIV at the age of five. Until he reached ...
until the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, ...

French Revolution
. Most scholars use the last years of the century, often choosing the French Revolution of 1789 or the beginning of the
Napoleonic Wars The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major global conflicts pitting the First French Empire, French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon, Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of Coalition forces of the Napoleonic Wars, Europe ...
(1804–1815) as a convenient point in time with which to date the end of the Enlightenment. In recent years, scholars have expanded the time span and global perspective of the Enlightenment by examining: (1) how European intellectuals did not work alone and other people helped spread and adapt Enlightenment ideas, (2) how Enlightenment ideas were "a response to
cross-border Borders are usually defined as geographical Geography (from Ancient Greek, Greek: , ''geographia''. Combination of Greek words ‘Geo’ (The Earth) and ‘Graphien’ (to describe), literally "earth description") is a field of scienc ...
interaction and global integration", and (3) how the Enlightenment "continued throughout the nineteenth century and beyond." The Enlightenment "was not merely a history of
diffusion Diffusion is the net movement of anything (for example, atoms, ions, molecules, energy) generally from a region of higher concentration to a region of lower concentration. Diffusion is driven by a gradient in Gibbs free energy or chemical p ...
" and "was the work of historical actors around the world... who invoked the term... for their own specific purposes."


Modern study

In the 1947 book ''
Dialectic of Enlightenment ''Dialectic of Enlightenment'' (german: Dialektik der Aufklärung) is a work of philosophy and social criticism written by Frankfurt School philosophers Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno. The text, published in 1947, is a revised version of wh ...
'',
Frankfurt School The Frankfurt School (german: Frankfurter Schule) is a school of social theory and critical philosophy associated with the Institute for Social Research, at Goethe University Frankfurt in 1929. Founded in the Weimar Republic (1918–1933), duri ...
philosophers
Max Horkheimer Max Horkheimer (; ; 14 February 1895 – 7 July 1973) was a German philosopher and sociologist who was famous for his work in critical theory as a member of the Frankfurt School of social research. Horkheimer addressed authoritarianism, militaris ...
and Theodor W. Adorno argued: Extending Horkheimer and Adorno's argument, intellectual historian Jason Josephson-Storm has argued that any idea of the Age of Enlightenment as a clearly defined period that is separate from the earlier
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a Periodization, period in History of Europe, European history marking the transition from the Middle Ages to modernity and covering the 15th and 16th centuries, characterized by an e ...
and later
Romanticism Romanticism (also known as the Romantic movement or Romantic era) was an artistic, literary, musical, and intellectual movement that originated in Europe towards the end of the 18th century, and in most areas was at its peak in the approximate ...
or Counter-Enlightenment constitutes a myth. Josephson-Storm points out that there are vastly different and mutually contradictory periodizations of the Enlightenment depending on nation, field of study, and school of thought; that the term and category of "Enlightenment" referring to the Scientific Revolution was actually applied after the fact; that the Enlightenment did not see an increase in
disenchantment In social science, disenchantment (german: Entzauberung) is the cultural rationalization (sociology), rationalization and devaluation of religion apparent in modern society. The term was borrowed from Friedrich Schiller by Max Weber to describe ...
or the dominance of the mechanistic worldview; and that a blur in the early modern ideas of the
humanities Humanities are List of academic disciplines, academic disciplines that study aspects of human society and culture. In the Renaissance, the term contrasted with Divinity (academic discipline), divinity and referred to what is now called classi ...
and
natural sciences Natural science is one of the branches of science concerned with the description, understanding and prediction of natural phenomena, based on empirical evidence from observation and experimentation. Mechanisms such as peer review and repeat ...
makes it hard to circumscribe a Scientific Revolution. Josephson-Storm defends his categorization of the Enlightenment as "myth" by noting the regulative role ideas of a period of Enlightenment and disenchantment play in modern Western culture, such that belief in magic, spiritualism, and even religion appears somewhat taboo in intellectual strata. In the 1970s, study of the Enlightenment expanded to include the ways Enlightenment ideas spread to European colonies and how they interacted with indigenous cultures and how the Enlightenment took place in formerly unstudied areas such as Italy, Greece, the Balkans, Poland, Hungary, and Russia. Intellectuals such as
Robert Darnton Robert Choate Darnton (born May 10, 1939) is an American cultural historian and academic librarian who specializes in 18th-century France. He was director of the Harvard University Library from 2007 to 2016. Life Darnton was born in New York ...
and
Jürgen Habermas Jürgen Habermas (, ; ; born 18 June 1929) is a German social theorist Social theories are analytical frameworks, or paradigms, that are used to study and interpret social phenomenon, social phenomena.Seidman, S., 2016. Contested knowledge: S ...
have focused on the social conditions of the Enlightenment. Habermas described the creation of the "bourgeois public sphere" in 18th-century Europe, containing the new venues and modes of communication allowing for rational exchange. Habermas said that the public sphere was bourgeois, egalitarian, rational, and independent from the state, making it the ideal venue for intellectuals to critically examine contemporary politics and society, away from the interference of established authority. While the public sphere is generally an integral component of the social study of the Enlightenment, other historians have questioned whether the public sphere had these characteristics.


Society and culture

In contrast to the intellectual historiographical approach of the Enlightenment, which examines the various currents or discourses of intellectual thought within the European context during the 17th and 18th centuries, the cultural (or social) approach examines the changes that occurred in European society and culture. This approach studies the process of changing sociabilities and cultural practices during the Enlightenment. One of the primary elements of the culture of the Enlightenment was the rise of the
public sphere The public sphere (german: Öffentlichkeit) is an area in social relation, social life where individuals can come together to freely discuss and identify societal problems, and through that discussion influence political action. A "Public" is "of ...
, a "realm of communication marked by new arenas of debate, more open and accessible forms of urban public space and sociability, and an explosion of print culture", in the late 17th century and 18th century. Elements of the public sphere included that it was egalitarian, that it discussed the domain of "common concern", and that argument was founded on reason. Habermas uses the term "common concern" to describe those areas of political/social knowledge and discussion that were previously the exclusive territory of the state and religious authorities, now open to critical examination by the public sphere. The values of this bourgeois public sphere included holding reason to be supreme, considering everything to be open to criticism (the public sphere is critical), and the opposition of secrecy of all sorts. The creation of the public sphere has been associated with two long-term historical trends: the rise of the modern nation state and the rise of
capitalism Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit. Central characteristics of capitalism include capital accumulation, competitive markets, price system, pr ...
. The modern nation state, in its consolidation of public power, created by counterpoint a private realm of society independent of the state, which allowed for the public sphere. Capitalism also increased society's
autonomy In developmental psychology and morality, moral, political, and bioethics, bioethical philosophy, autonomy, from , ''autonomos'', from αὐτο- ''auto-'' "self" and νόμος ''nomos'', "law", hence when combined understood to mean "one who g ...
and
self-awareness In philosophy of self, self-awareness is the experience of one's own personality or individuality. It is not to be confused with consciousness in the sense of qualia. While consciousness is being aware of one's environment and body and lifesty ...
, as well as an increasing need for the exchange of information. As the nascent public sphere expanded, it embraced a large variety of institutions and the most commonly cited were coffee houses and cafés, salons and the literary public sphere, figuratively localized in the
Republic of Letters The Republic of Letters (''Respublica literaria'') is the long-distance intellectual community in the late 17th and 18th centuries in Europe and the Americas. It fostered communication among the intellectuals of the Age of Enlightenment, or ''phil ...
. In France, the creation of the public sphere was helped by the aristocracy's move from the King's palace at Versailles to Paris in about 1720, since their rich spending stimulated the trade in luxuries and artistic creations, especially fine paintings. The context for the rise of the public sphere was the economic and social change commonly associated with the
Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe, and the United States, that occurred during the period from around 1760 to about 1820–1840. This transition included going fr ...
: "Economic expansion, increasing urbanization, rising population and improving communications in comparison to the stagnation of the previous century". Rising efficiency in production techniques and communication lowered the prices of consumer goods and increased the amount and variety of goods available to consumers (including the literature essential to the public sphere). Meanwhile, the colonial experience (most European states had colonial empires in the 18th century) began to expose European society to extremely heterogeneous cultures, leading to the breaking down of "barriers between cultural systems, religious divides, gender differences and geographical areas". The word "public" implies the highest level of inclusivity – the public sphere by definition should be open to all. However, this sphere was only public to relative degrees. Enlightenment thinkers frequently contrasted their conception of the "public" with that of the people:
Condorcet Marie Jean Antoine Nicolas de Caritat, Marquis of Condorcet (; 17 September 1743 – 29 March 1794), known as Nicolas de Condorcet, was a French philosopher and mathematician. His ideas, including support for a Economic liberalism, liberal econo ...
contrasted "opinion" with populace, Marmontel "the opinion of men of letters" with "the opinion of the multitude" and d'Alembert the "truly enlightened public" with "the blind and noisy multitude". Additionally, most institutions of the public sphere excluded both women and the lower classes. Cross-class influences occurred through noble and lower class participation in areas such as the coffeehouses and the Masonic lodges.


Social and cultural implications in the arts

Because of the focus on reason over superstition, the Enlightenment cultivated the arts. Emphasis on learning, art, and music became more widespread, especially with the growing middle class. Areas of study such as literature, philosophy, science, and the fine arts increasingly explored subject matter to which the general public, in addition to the previously more segregated professionals and patrons, could relate. As musicians depended more and more on public support, public concerts became increasingly popular and helped supplement performers' and composers' incomes. The concerts also helped them to reach a wider audience.
Handel George Frideric (or Frederick) Handel (; baptised , ; 23 February 1685 – 14 April 1759) was a German-British Baroque music, Baroque composer well known for his opera#Baroque era, operas, oratorios, anthems, concerto grosso, concerti grossi, ...
, for example, epitomized this with his highly public musical activities in London. He gained considerable fame there with performances of his operas and oratorios. The music of
Haydn Franz Joseph Haydn ( , ; 31 March 173231 May 1809) was an Austrian composer of the Classical period (music), Classical period. He was instrumental in the development of chamber music such as the string quartet and piano trio. His contributions ...
and
Mozart Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (27 January 17565 December 1791), baptised as Joannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical period (music), Classical period. Despite his short life, his ra ...
, with their Viennese Classical styles, are usually regarded as being the most in line with the Enlightenment ideals.Beard and Gloag, ''Musicology'', 59. The desire to explore, record, and systematize knowledge had a meaningful impact on music publications.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau Jean-Jacques Rousseau (, ; 28 June 1712 – 2 July 1778) was a Republic of Geneva, Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer. His political philosophy influenced the progress of the Age of Enlightenment throughout Europe, as well as aspects ...

Jean-Jacques Rousseau
's ''Dictionnaire de musique'' (published 1767 in Geneva and 1768 in Paris) was a leading text in the late 18th century. This widely available dictionary gave short definitions of words like genius and taste and was clearly influenced by the Enlightenment movement. Another text influenced by Enlightenment values was
Charles Burney Charles Burney (7 April 1726 – 12 April 1814) was an English music history, music historian, composer and musician. He was the father of the writers Frances Burney and Sarah Burney, of the explorer James Burney, and of Charles Burney (s ...
's ''A General History of Music: From the Earliest Ages to the Present Period'' (1776), which was a historical survey and an attempt to rationalize elements in music systematically over time.Beard and Gloag, ''Musicology'', 60. Recently, musicologists have shown renewed interest in the ideas and consequences of the Enlightenment. For example, Rose Rosengard Subotnik's ''Deconstructive Variations'' (subtitled ''Music and Reason in Western Society'') compares Mozart's ''Die Zauberflöte'' (1791) using the Enlightenment and Romantic perspectives and concludes that the work is "an ideal musical representation of the Enlightenment". As the economy and the middle class expanded, there was an increasing number of amateur musicians. One manifestation of this involved women, who became more involved with music on a social level. Women were already engaged in professional roles as singers and increased their presence in the amateur performers' scene, especially with keyboard music.Burkholder, Grout, and Palisca, ''A History of Western Music'', 475. Music publishers begin to print music that amateurs could understand and play. The majority of the works that were published were for keyboard, voice and keyboard, and chamber ensemble. After these initial genres were popularized, from the mid-century on, amateur groups sang choral music, which then became a new trend for publishers to capitalize on. The increasing study of the fine arts, as well as access to amateur-friendly published works, led to more people becoming interested in reading and discussing music. Music magazines, reviews, and critical works which suited amateurs as well as connoisseurs began to surface.


Dissemination of ideas

The ''philosophes'' spent a great deal of energy disseminating their ideas among educated men and women in cosmopolitan cities. They used many venues, some of them quite new.


Republic of Letters

The term "Republic of Letters" was coined in 1664 by Pierre Bayle in his journal ''Nouvelles de la Republique des Lettres''. Towards the end of the 18th century, the editor of ''Histoire de la République des Lettres en France'', a literary survey, described the Republic of Letters as being: The Republic of Letters was the sum of a number of Enlightenment ideals: an egalitarian realm governed by knowledge that could act across political boundaries and rival state power. It was a forum that supported "free public examination of questions regarding religion or legislation". Immanuel Kant considered written communication essential to his conception of the public sphere; once everyone was a part of the "reading public", then society could be said to be enlightened. The people who participated in the Republic of Letters, such as
Diderot Denis Diderot (; ; 5 October 171331 July 1784) was a French philosopher, art critic, and writer, best known for serving as co-founder, chief editor, and contributor to the ''Encyclopédie'' along with Jean le Rond d'Alembert. He was a prominen ...
and
Voltaire François-Marie Arouet (; 21 November 169430 May 1778) was a French Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher. Known by his ''Pen name, nom de plume'' M. de Voltaire (; also ; ), he was famous for his wit, and his ...

Voltaire
, are frequently known today as important Enlightenment figures. Indeed, the men who wrote Diderot's ''Encyclopédie'' arguably formed a microcosm of the larger "republic". Many women played an essential part in the French Enlightenment, due to the role they played as ''salonnières'' in Parisian salons, as the contrast to the male ''philosophes''. The salon was the principal social institution of the republic and "became the civil working spaces of the project of Enlightenment". Women, as salonnières, were "the legitimate governors of hepotentially unruly discourse" that took place within. While women were marginalized in the public culture of the Old Regime, the French Revolution destroyed the old cultural and economic restraints of patronage and corporatism (guilds), opening French society to female participation, particularly in the literary sphere. In France, the established men of letters (''gens de lettres'') had fused with the elites (''les grands'') of French society by the mid-18th century. This led to the creation of an oppositional literary sphere, Grub Street, the domain of a "multitude of versifiers and would-be authors". These men came to London to become authors, only to discover that the literary market could not support large numbers of writers, who in any case were very poorly remunerated by the publishing-bookselling
guild A guild ( ) is an association of artisans and merchants who oversee the practice of their craft/trade in a particular area. The earliest types of guild formed as organizations of tradesmen belonging to a professional association. They sometimes ...
s. The writers of Grub Street, the Grub Street Hacks, were left feeling bitter about the relative success of the men of letters and found an outlet for their literature which was typified by the '' libelle''. Written mostly in the form of pamphlets, the ''libelles'' "slandered the court, the Church, the aristocracy, the academies, the salons, everything elevated and respectable, including the monarchy itself". ''Le Gazetier cuirassé'' by Charles Théveneau de Morande was a prototype of the genre. It was Grub Street literature that was most read by the public during the Enlightenment. According to Darnton, more importantly the Grub Street hacks inherited the "revolutionary spirit" once displayed by the ''philosophes'' and paved the way for the French Revolution by desacralizing figures of political, moral, and religious authority in France.


Book industry

The increased consumption of reading materials of all sorts was one of the key features of the "social" Enlightenment. Developments in the Industrial Revolution allowed consumer goods to be produced in greater quantities at lower prices, encouraging the spread of books, pamphlets, newspapers, and journals – "media of the transmission of ideas and attitudes". Commercial development likewise increased the demand for information, along with rising populations and increased urbanisation. However, demand for reading material extended outside of the realm of the commercial and outside the realm of the upper and middle classes, as evidenced by the Bibliothèque Bleue. Literacy rates are difficult to gauge, but in France the rates doubled over the course of the 18th century. Reflecting the decreasing influence of religion, the number of books about science and art published in Paris doubled from 1720 to 1780, while the number of books about religion dropped to just one-tenth of the total. Reading underwent serious changes in the 18th century. In particular, Rolf Engelsing has argued for the existence of a '' Reading Revolution''. Until 1750, reading was done intensively: people tended to own a small number of books and read them repeatedly, often to small audience. After 1750, people began to read "extensively", finding as many books as they could, increasingly reading them alone. This is supported by increasing literacy rates, particularly among women. The vast majority of the reading public could not afford to own a private library and while most of the state-run "universal libraries" set up in the 17th and 18th centuries were open to the public, they were not the only sources of reading material. On one end of the spectrum was the ''Bibliothèque Bleue'', a collection of cheaply produced books published in Troyes, France. Intended for a largely rural and semi-literate audience these books included almanacs, retellings of medieval romances and condensed versions of popular novels, among other things. While some historians have argued against the Enlightenment's penetration into the lower classes, the ''Bibliothèque Bleue'' represents at least a desire to participate in Enlightenment sociability. Moving up the classes, a variety of institutions offered readers access to material without needing to buy anything. Libraries that lent out their material for a small price started to appear and occasionally bookstores would offer a small lending library to their patrons. Coffee houses commonly offered books, journals, and sometimes even popular novels to their customers. '' The Tatler'' and ''
The Spectator ''The Spectator'' is a weekly British magazine on politics, culture, and current affairs. It was first published in July 1828, making it the oldest surviving weekly magazine in the world. It is owned by Frederick Barclay, who also owns '' T ...
'', two influential periodicals sold from 1709 to 1714, were closely associated with coffee house culture in London, being both read and produced in various establishments in the city. This is an example of the triple or even quadruple function of the coffee house: reading material was often obtained, read, discussed, and even produced on the premises. It is extremely difficult to determine what people actually read during the Enlightenment. For example, examining the catalogs of private libraries gives an image skewed in favor of the classes wealthy enough to afford libraries and also ignores censored works unlikely to be publicly acknowledged. For this reason, a study of publishing would be much more fruitful for discerning reading habits. Across continental Europe, but in France especially, booksellers and publishers had to negotiate censorship laws of varying strictness. For example, the ''Encyclopédie'' narrowly escaped seizure and had to be saved by Malesherbes, the man in charge of the French censor. Indeed, many publishing companies were conveniently located outside France so as to avoid overzealous French censors. They would smuggle their merchandise across the border, where it would then be transported to clandestine booksellers or small-time peddlers. The records of clandestine booksellers may give a better representation of what literate Frenchmen might have truly read, since their clandestine nature provided a less restrictive product choice.Darnton, ''The Literary Underground'', 135–47. In one case, political books were the most popular category, primarily libels and pamphlets. Readers were more interested in sensationalist stories about criminals and political corruption than they were in political theory itself. The second most popular category, "general works" (those books "that did not have a dominant motif and that contained something to offend almost everyone in authority"), demonstrated a high demand for generally low-brow subversive literature. However, these works never became part of literary canon and are largely forgotten today as a result. A healthy, legal publishing industry existed throughout Europe, although established publishers and book sellers occasionally ran afoul of the law. For example, the ''Encyclopédie'' condemned not only by the King, but also by Clement XII, nevertheless found its way into print with the help of the aforementioned Malesherbes and creative use of French censorship law. However, many works were sold without running into any legal trouble at all. Borrowing records from libraries in England, Germany, and North America indicate that more than 70 percent of books borrowed were novels. Less than 1 percent of the books were of a religious nature, indicating the general trend of declining religiosity.Outram, 21.


Natural history

A genre that greatly rose in importance was that of scientific literature. Natural history in particular became increasingly popular among the upper classes. Works of natural history include René-Antoine Ferchault de Réaumur's ''Histoire naturelle des insectes'' and Jacques Gautier d'Agoty's ''La Myologie complète, ou description de tous les muscles du corps humain'' (1746). Outside
Ancien Régime ''Ancien'' may refer to * the French word for "ancient Ancient history is a time period from the History of writing, beginning of writing and recorded human history to as far as late antiquity. The span of recorded history is roughly 5,000 ...
France, natural history was an important part of medicine and industry, encompassing the fields of botany, zoology, meteorology, hydrology, and mineralogy. Students in Enlightenment universities and academies were taught these subjects to prepare them for careers as diverse as medicine and theology. As shown by Matthew Daniel Eddy, natural history in this context was a very middle class pursuit and operated as a fertile trading zone for the interdisciplinary exchange of diverse scientific ideas. The target audience of natural history was French polite society, evidenced more by the specific discourse of the genre than by the generally high prices of its works. Naturalists catered to polite society's desire for erudition – many texts had an explicit instructive purpose. However, natural history was often a political affair. As Emma Spary writes, the classifications used by naturalists "slipped between the natural world and the social ... to establish not only the expertise of the naturalists over the natural, but also the dominance of the natural over the social". The idea of taste (''le goût'') was a social indicator: to truly be able to categorize nature, one had to have the proper taste, an ability of discretion shared by all members of polite society. In this way, natural history spread many of the scientific developments of the time but also provided a new source of legitimacy for the dominant class. From this basis, naturalists could then develop their own social ideals based on their scientific works.


Scientific and literary journals

The first scientific and literary journals were established during the Enlightenment. The first journal, the Parisian '' Journal des Sçavans'', appeared in 1665. However, it was not until 1682 that periodicals began to be more widely produced. French and Latin were the dominant languages of publication, but there was also a steady demand for material in German and Dutch. There was generally low demand for English publications on the Continent, which was echoed by England's similar lack of desire for French works. Languages commanding less of an international market—such as Danish, Spanish, and Portuguese—found journal success more difficult and more often than not a more international language was used instead. French slowly took over Latin's status as the ''
lingua franca A lingua franca (; ; for plurals see ), also known as a bridge language, common language, trade language, auxiliary language, vehicular language, or link language, is a Natural language, language systematically used to make communication possib ...
'' of learned circles. This in turn gave precedence to the publishing industry in Holland, where the vast majority of these French language periodicals were produced. Jonathan Israel called the journals the most influential cultural innovation of European intellectual culture. They shifted the attention of the "cultivated public" away from established authorities to novelty and innovation, and instead promoted the "enlightened" ideals of toleration and intellectual objectivity. Being a source of knowledge derived from science and reason, they were an implicit critique of existing notions of universal truth monopolized by monarchies, parliaments, and religious authorities. They also advanced Christian enlightenment that upheld "the legitimacy of God-ordained authority"—the Bible—in which there had to be agreement between the biblical and natural theories.


Encyclopedias and dictionaries

Although the existence of
dictionaries A dictionary is a listing of lexemes from the lexicon of one or more specific languages, often arranged Alphabetical order, alphabetically (or by radical-and-stroke sorting, radical and stroke for ideographic languages), which may include inf ...
and encyclopedias spanned into ancient times, the texts changed from defining words in a long running list to far more detailed discussions of those words in 18th-century encyclopedic dictionaries.Headrick, (2000), p. 144. The works were part of an Enlightenment movement to systematize knowledge and provide education to a wider audience than the elite. As the 18th century progressed, the content of encyclopedias also changed according to readers' tastes. Volumes tended to focus more strongly on secular affairs, particularly science and technology, rather than matters of theology. Along with secular matters, readers also favoured an alphabetical ordering scheme over cumbersome works arranged along thematic lines.Headrick, (2000), p. 172. Commenting on alphabetization, the historian Charles Porset has said that "as the zero degree of taxonomy, alphabetical order authorizes all reading strategies; in this respect it could be considered an emblem of the Enlightenment". For Porset, the avoidance of thematic and
hierarchical A hierarchy (from Ancient Greek, Greek: , from , 'president of sacred rites') is an arrangement of items (objects, names, values, categories, etc.) that are represented as being "above", "below", or "at the same level as" one another. Hierarchy i ...
systems thus allows free interpretation of the works and becomes an example of
egalitarianism Egalitarianism (), or equalitarianism, is a school of thought within political philosophy that builds from the concept of social equality, prioritizing it for all people. Egalitarian doctrines are generally characterized by the idea that all hum ...
. Encyclopedias and dictionaries also became more popular during the Age of Enlightenment as the number of educated consumers who could afford such texts began to multiply. In the later half of the 18th century, the number of dictionaries and encyclopedias published by decade increased from 63 between 1760 and 1769 to approximately 148 in the decade proceeding the French Revolution (1780–1789). Along with growth in numbers, dictionaries and encyclopedias also grew in length, often having multiple print runs that sometimes included in supplemented editions. The first technical dictionary was drafted by John Harris and entitled '' Lexicon technicum: Or, An Universal English Dictionary of Arts and Sciences''. Harris' book avoided theological and biographical entries and instead it concentrated on science and technology. Published in 1704, the ''Lexicon technicum'' was the first book to be written in English that took a methodical approach to describing mathematics and commercial
arithmetic Arithmetic () is an elementary part of mathematics Mathematics is an area of knowledge that includes the topics of numbers, formulas and related structures, shapes and the spaces in which they are contained, and quantities and their chang ...
along with the physical sciences and
navigation Navigation is a field of study that focuses on the process of monitoring and controlling the motion, movement of a craft or vehicle from one place to another.Bowditch, 2003:799. The field of navigation includes four general categories: land navi ...
. Other technical dictionaries followed Harris' model, including Ephraim Chambers' '' Cyclopaedia'' (1728), which included five editions and was a substantially larger work than Harris'. The
folio The term "folio" (), has three interconnected but distinct meanings in the world of books and printing: first, it is a term for a common method of arranging sheets of paper into book form, folding the sheet only once, and a term for a book mad ...
edition of the work even included foldout engravings. The ''Cyclopaedia'' emphasized Newtonian theories, Lockean philosophy and contained thorough examinations of technologies, such as
engraving Engraving is the practice of incising a design onto a hard, usually flat surface by cutting grooves into it with a Burin (engraving), burin. The result may be a decorated object in itself, as when silver, gold, steel, or Glass engraving, glass ...
, brewing, and
dyeing Dyeing is the application of dyes or pigments on textile materials such as fibers, yarns, and fabrics with the goal of achieving color with desired color fastness. Dyeing is normally done in a special Solution (chemistry), solution containing ...
. In Germany, practical reference works intended for the uneducated majority became popular in the 18th century. The ''Marperger Curieuses Natur-, Kunst-, Berg-, Gewerk- und Handlungs-Lexicon'' (1712) explained terms that usefully described the trades and scientific and commercial education. ''Jablonksi Allgemeines Lexicon'' (1721) was better known than the ''Handlungs-Lexicon'' and underscored technical subjects rather than scientific theory. For example, over five columns of text were dedicated to wine while geometry and
logic Logic is the study of correct reasoning. It includes both Mathematical logic, formal and informal logic. Formal logic is the science of Validity (logic), deductively valid inferences or of logical truths. It is a formal science investigating h ...
were allocated only twenty-two and seventeen lines, respectively. The first edition of the ''
Encyclopædia Britannica The (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) around present-d ...
'' (1771) was modelled along the same lines as the German lexicons. However, the prime example of reference works that systematized scientific knowledge in the Age of Enlightenment were universal encyclopedias rather than technical dictionaries. It was the goal of universal encyclopedias to record all human knowledge in a comprehensive reference work. The most well-known of these works is
Denis Diderot Denis Diderot (; ; 5 October 171331 July 1784) was a French philosopher, art critic, and writer, best known for serving as co-founder, chief editor, and contributor to the ''Encyclopédie'' along with Jean le Rond d'Alembert. He was a prominen ...

Denis Diderot
and Jean le Rond d'Alembert's '' Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers''. The work, which began publication in 1751, was composed of thirty-five volumes and over 71 000 separate entries. A great number of the entries were dedicated to describing the sciences and crafts in detail and provided intellectuals across Europe with a high-quality survey of human knowledge. In d'Alembert's ''Preliminary Discourse to the Encyclopedia of Diderot'', the work's goal to record the extent of human knowledge in the arts and sciences is outlined: The massive work was arranged according to a "tree of knowledge". The tree reflected the marked division between the arts and sciences, which was largely a result of the rise of empiricism. Both areas of knowledge were united by philosophy, or the trunk of the tree of knowledge. The Enlightenment's desacrilization of religion was pronounced in the tree's design, particularly where theology accounted for a peripheral branch, with black magic as a close neighbour. As the ''Encyclopédie'' gained popularity, it was published in
quarto Quarto (abbreviated Qto, 4to or 4º) is the format of a book or pamphlet produced from full sheets printed with eight pages of text, four to a side, then folded twice to produce four leaves. The leaves are then trimmed along the folds to produc ...
and
octavo Octavo, a Latin word meaning "in eighth" or "for the eighth time", (abbreviated 8vo, 8º, or In-8) is a technical term describing the format of a book, which refers to the size of leaves produced from folding a full sheet of paper on which multip ...
editions after 1777. The quarto and octavo editions were much less expensive than previous editions, making the ''Encyclopédie'' more accessible to the non-elite. Robert Darnton estimates that there were approximately 25 000 copies of the ''Encyclopédie'' in circulation throughout France and Europe before the French Revolution. The extensive, yet affordable encyclopedia came to represent the transmission of Enlightenment and scientific education to an expanding audience.


Popularization of science

One of the most important developments that the Enlightenment era brought to the discipline of science was its popularization. An increasingly literate population seeking knowledge and education in both the arts and the sciences drove the expansion of print culture and the dissemination of scientific learning. The new literate population was due to a high rise in the availability of food. This enabled many people to rise out of poverty, and instead of paying more for food, they had money for education. Popularization was generally part of an overarching Enlightenment ideal that endeavoured "to make information available to the greatest number of people". As public interest in natural philosophy grew during the 18th century, public lecture courses and the publication of popular texts opened up new roads to money and fame for amateurs and scientists who remained on the periphery of universities and academies. More formal works included explanations of scientific theories for individuals lacking the educational background to comprehend the original scientific text. Sir Isaac Newton's celebrated ''Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica'' was published in Latin and remained inaccessible to readers without education in the classics until Enlightenment writers began to translate and analyze the text in the vernacular. The first significant work that expressed scientific theory and knowledge expressly for the laity, in the vernacular and with the entertainment of readers in mind, was Bernard de Fontenelle's ''
Conversations on the Plurality of Worlds ''Conversations on the Plurality of Worlds'' (french: Entretiens sur la pluralité des mondes) is a popular science book by French author Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle, published in 1686. Content The work consists of six lessons popularizing ...
'' (1686). The book was produced specifically for women with an interest in scientific writing and inspired a variety of similar works. These popular works were written in a discursive style, which was laid out much more clearly for the reader than the complicated articles, treatises, and books published by the academies and scientists. Charles Leadbetter's ''Astronomy'' (1727) was advertised as "a Work entirely New" that would include "short and easie Rules and Astronomical Tables". The first French introduction to Newtonianism and the ''Principia'' was ''Eléments de la philosophie de Newton'', published by Voltaire in 1738. Émilie du Châtelet's translation of the ''Principia'', published after her death in 1756, also helped to spread Newton's theories beyond scientific academies and the university. Writing for a growing female audience,
Francesco Algarotti Count Francesco Algarotti (11 December 1712 – 3 May 1764) was an Italian polymath, philosopher, poet, essayist, anglophile, art critic and art collector. He was a man of broad knowledge, an expert in Newtonianism, architecture and opera. He was ...
published ''Il Newtonianism per le dame'', which was a tremendously popular work and was translated from Italian into English by Elizabeth Carter. A similar introduction to Newtonianism for women was produced by Henry Pemberton. His ''A View of Sir Isaac Newton's Philosophy'' was published by subscription. Extant records of subscribers show that women from a wide range of social standings purchased the book, indicating the growing number of scientifically inclined female readers among the middling class. During the Enlightenment, women also began producing popular scientific works themselves.
Sarah Trimmer Sarah Trimmer (''née'' Kirby; 6 January 1741 – 15 December 1810) was a writer and critic of 18th century in literature, 18th-century British children's literature, as well as an educational reformer. Her periodical, ''The Guardian of Educatio ...
wrote a successful natural history textbook for children titled ''The Easy Introduction to the Knowledge of Nature'' (1782), which was published for many years after in eleven editions.


Schools and universities

Most work on the Enlightenment emphasizes the ideals discussed by intellectuals, rather than the actual state of education at the time. Leading educational theorists like England's John Locke and Switzerland's Jean Jacques Rousseau both emphasized the importance of shaping young minds early. By the late Enlightenment, there was a rising demand for a more universal approach to education, particularly after the
American Revolution The American Revolution was an ideological and political revolution that occurred in British America between 1765 and 1791. The Americans in the Thirteen Colonies formed independent states that defeated the British in the American Revolut ...
and the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, ...

French Revolution
. The predominant educational psychology from the 1750s onward, especially in northern European countries was associationism, the notion that the mind associates or dissociates ideas through repeated routines. In addition to being conducive to Enlightenment ideologies of liberty, self-determination, and personal responsibility, it offered a practical theory of the mind that allowed teachers to transform longstanding forms of print and manuscript culture into effective graphic tools of learning for the lower and middle orders of society. Children were taught to memorize facts through oral and graphic methods that originated during the Renaissance. Many of the leading universities associated with Enlightenment progressive principles were located in northern Europe, with the most renowned being the universities of Leiden, Göttingen, Halle, Montpellier, Uppsala, and Edinburgh. These universities, especially Edinburgh, produced professors whose ideas had a significant impact on Britain's North American colonies and later the American Republic. Within the natural sciences, Edinburgh's medical school also led the way in chemistry, anatomy, and pharmacology. In other parts of Europe, the universities and schools of France and most of Europe were bastions of traditionalism and were not hospitable to the Enlightenment. In France, the major exception was the medical university at Montpellier.


Learned academies

The history of Academies in France during the Enlightenment begins with the
Academy of Science An academy of sciences is a type of learned society or academy (as special scientific institution) dedicated to sciences that may or may not be state funded. Some state funded academies are tuned into national academy, national or royal (in ...
, founded in 1635 in Paris. It was closely tied to the French state, acting as an extension of a government seriously lacking in scientists. It helped promote and organize new disciplines and it trained new scientists. It also contributed to the enhancement of scientists' social status, considering them to be the "most useful of all citizens". Academies demonstrate the rising interest in science along with its increasing secularization, as evidenced by the small number of clerics who were members (13 percent). The presence of the French academies in the public sphere cannot be attributed to their membership, as although the majority of their members were bourgeois, the exclusive institution was only open to elite Parisian scholars. They perceived themselves as "interpreters of the sciences for the people". For example, it was with this in mind that academicians took it upon themselves to disprove the popular pseudo-science of
mesmerism Animal magnetism, also known as mesmerism, was a protoscientific theory developed by German doctor Franz Mesmer Franz Anton Mesmer (; ; 23 May 1734 – 5 March 1815) was a German physician with an interest in astronomy. He theorised the ...
. The strongest contribution of the French Academies to the public sphere comes from the ''concours académiques'' (roughly translated as "academic contests") they sponsored throughout France. These academic contests were perhaps the most public of any institution during the Enlightenment. The practice of contests dated back to the Middle Ages and was revived in the mid-17th century. The subject matter had previously been generally religious and/or monarchical, featuring essays, poetry, and painting. However, by roughly 1725 this subject matter had radically expanded and diversified, including "royal propaganda, philosophical battles, and critical ruminations on the social and political institutions of the Old Regime". Topics of public controversy were also discussed such as the theories of Newton and Descartes, the slave trade, women's education, and justice in France. More importantly, the contests were open to all and the enforced anonymity of each submission guaranteed that neither gender nor social rank would determine the judging. Indeed, although the "vast majority" of participants belonged to the wealthier strata of society ("the liberal arts, the clergy, the judiciary and the medical profession"), there were some cases of the popular classes submitting essays and even winning. Similarly, a significant number of women participated—and won—the competitions. Of a total of 2,300 prize competitions offered in France, women won 49—perhaps a small number by modern standards, but very significant in an age in which most women did not have any academic training. Indeed, the majority of the winning entries were for poetry competitions, a genre commonly stressed in women's education. In England, the
Royal Society of London The Royal Society, formally The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, is a learned society A learned society (; also learned academy, scholarly society, or academic association) is an organization that exists to promo ...
also played a significant role in the public sphere and the spread of Enlightenment ideas. It was founded by a group of independent scientists and given a royal charter in 1662. The Society played a large role in spreading
Robert Boyle Robert Boyle (; 25 January 1627 – 31 December 1691) was an Anglo-Irish natural philosopher, chemist, physicist, Alchemy, alchemist and inventor. Boyle is largely regarded today as the first modern chemist, and therefore one of the foun ...
's
experimental philosophy Experimental philosophy is an emerging field of philosophical inquiryDavid Edmonds (philosopher), Edmonds, David and Nigel Warburton, Warburton, NigelPhilosophy’s great experiment, Prospect (magazine), ''Prospect'', March 1, 2009 that makes use ...
around Europe and acted as a clearinghouse for intellectual correspondence and exchange. Boyle was "a founder of the experimental world in which scientists now live and operate" and his method based knowledge on experimentation, which had to be witnessed to provide proper empirical legitimacy. This is where the Royal Society came into play: witnessing had to be a "collective act" and the Royal Society's assembly rooms were ideal locations for relatively public demonstrations. However, not just any witness was considered to be credible: "Oxford professors were accounted more reliable witnesses than Oxfordshire peasants". Two factors were taken into account: a witness's knowledge in the area and a witness's "moral constitution". In other words, only civil society were considered for Boyle's public.


Salons

Salons were places where ''philosophes'' were reunited and discussed old, actual, or new ideas. This led to salons being the birthplace of intellectual and enlightened ideas.


Coffeehouses

Coffeehouses were especially important to the spread of knowledge during the Enlightenment because they created a unique environment in which people from many different walks of life gathered and shared ideas. They were frequently criticized by nobles who feared the possibility of an environment in which class and its accompanying titles and privileges were disregarded. Such an environment was especially intimidating to monarchs who derived much of their power from the disparity between classes of people. If classes were to join under the influence of Enlightenment thinking, they might recognize the all-encompassing oppression and abuses of their monarchs and because of their size might be able to carry out successful revolts. Monarchs also resented the idea of their subjects convening as one to discuss political matters, especially those concerning foreign affairs—rulers thought political affairs to be their business only, a result of their supposed divine right to rule. Coffeeshops became homes away from home for many who sought to engage in discourse with their neighbors and discuss intriguing and thought-provoking matters, especially those regarding philosophy to politics. Coffeehouses were essential to the Enlightenment, for they were centers of free-thinking and self-discovery. Although many coffeehouse patrons were scholars, a great deal were not. Coffeehouses attracted a diverse set of people, including not only the educated wealthy but also members of the bourgeoisie and the lower class. While it may seem positive that patrons, being doctors, lawyers, merchants, etc. represented almost all classes, the coffeeshop environment sparked fear in those who sought to preserve class distinction. One of the most popular critiques of the coffeehouse claimed that it "allowed promiscuous association among people from different rungs of the social ladder, from the artisan to the aristocrat" and was therefore compared to Noah's Ark, receiving all types of animals, clean or unclean. This unique culture served as a catalyst for journalism when
Joseph Addison Joseph Addison (1 May 1672 – 17 June 1719) was an English essayist, poet, playwright and politician. He was the eldest son of The Reverend Lancelot Addison. His name is usually remembered alongside that of his long-standing friend Richard S ...
and
Richard Steele Sir Richard Steele (bap. 12 March 1672 – 1 September 1729) was an Anglo-Irish writer, playwright, and politician, remembered as co-founder, with his friend Joseph Addison, of the magazine ''The Spectator (1711), The Spectator''. Early life ...
recognized its potential as an audience. Together, Steele and Addison published ''
The Spectator (1711) ''The Spectator'' was a daily publication founded by Joseph Addison and Richard Steele in England, lasting from 1711 to 1712. Each "paper", or "number", was approximately 2,500 words long, and the original run consisted of 555 numbers, beginnin ...
'', a daily publication which aimed, through fictional narrator Mr. Spectator, both to entertain and to provoke discussion regarding serious philosophical matters. The first English coffeehouse opened in Oxford in 1650. Brian Cowan said that Oxford coffeehouses developed into " penny universities", offering a locus of learning that was less formal than structured institutions. These penny universities occupied a significant position in Oxford academic life, as they were frequented by those consequently referred to as the ''virtuosi'', who conducted their research on some of the resulting premises. According to Cowan, "the coffeehouse was a place for like-minded scholars to congregate, to read, as well as learn from and to debate with each other, but was emphatically not a university institution, and the discourse there was of a far different order than any university tutorial". The Café Procope was established in Paris in 1686 and by the 1720s there were around 400 cafés in the city. The Café Procope in particular became a center of Enlightenment, welcoming such celebrities as Voltaire and Rousseau. The Café Procope was where Diderot and D'Alembert decided to create the ''Encyclopédie''. The cafés were one of the various "nerve centers" for ''bruits publics'', public noise or rumour. These ''bruits'' were allegedly a much better source of information than were the actual newspapers available at the time.


Debating societies

The debating societies are an example of the public sphere during the Enlightenment. Their origins include: * Clubs of fifty or more men who, at the beginning of the 18th century, met in pubs to discuss religious issues and affairs of state. * Mooting clubs, set up by law students to practice rhetoric. * Spouting clubs, established to help actors train for theatrical roles. * John Henley's Oratory, which mixed outrageous sermons with even more absurd questions, like "Whether Scotland be anywhere in the world?". In the late 1770s, popular debating societies began to move into more "genteel" rooms, a change which helped establish a new standard of sociability. The backdrop to these developments was "an explosion of interest in the theory and practice of public elocution". The debating societies were commercial enterprises that responded to this demand, sometimes very successfully. Some societies welcomed from 800 to 1,200 spectators a night. The debating societies discussed an extremely wide range of topics. Before the Enlightenment, most intellectual debates revolved around "confessional" – that is, Catholic, Lutheran, Reformed (Calvinist) or Anglican issues and the main aim of these debates was to establish which bloc of faith ought to have the "monopoly of truth and a God-given title to authority". After this date, everything thus previously rooted in tradition was questioned and often replaced by new concepts in the light of philosophical reason. After the second half of the 17th century and during the 18th century, a "general process of rationalization and secularization set in" and confessional disputes were reduced to a secondary status in favor of the "escalating contest between faith and incredulity". In addition to debates on religion, societies discussed issues such as politics and the role of women. However, it is important to note that the critical subject matter of these debates did not necessarily translate into opposition to the government. In other words, the results of the debate quite frequently upheld the ''status quo''. From a historical standpoint, one of the most important features of the debating society was their openness to the public, as women attended and even participated in almost every debating society, which were likewise open to all classes providing they could pay the entrance fee. Once inside, spectators were able to participate in a largely egalitarian form of sociability that helped spread Enlightenment ideas.


Masonic lodges

Historians have long debated the extent to which the secret network of
Freemasonry Freemasonry or Masonry refers to Fraternity, fraternal organisations that trace their origins to the local guilds of Stonemasonry, stonemasons that, from the end of the 13th century, regulated the qualifications of stonemasons and their inte ...
was a main factor in the Enlightenment. The leaders of the Enlightenment included Freemasons such as Diderot, Montesquieu, Voltaire, Lessing, Pope, Horace Walpole, Sir Robert Walpole, Mozart, Goethe, Frederick the Great, Benjamin Franklin and George Washington. Norman Davies said that Freemasonry was a powerful force on behalf of liberalism in Europe from about 1700 to the twentieth century. It expanded rapidly during the Age of Enlightenment, reaching practically every country in Europe. It was especially attractive to powerful aristocrats and politicians as well as intellectuals, artists, and political activists. During the Age of Enlightenment, Freemasons comprised an international network of like-minded men, often meeting in secret in ritualistic programs at their lodges. They promoted the ideals of the Enlightenment and helped diffuse these values across Britain, France, and other places. Freemasonry as a systematic creed with its own myths, values, and set of rituals originated in Scotland around 1600 and spread first to England and then across the Continent in the eighteenth century. They fostered new codes of conduct—including a communal understanding of liberty and equality inherited from guild sociability—"liberty, fraternity, and equality". Scottish soldiers and Jacobite Scots brought to the Continent ideals of fraternity which reflected not the local system of Scottish customs but the institutions and ideals originating in the English Revolution against royal absolutism. Freemasonry was particularly prevalent in France—by 1789, there were perhaps as many as 100,000 French Masons, making Freemasonry the most popular of all Enlightenment associations. The Freemasons displayed a passion for secrecy and created new degrees and ceremonies. Similar societies, partially imitating Freemasonry, emerged in France, Germany, Sweden, and Russia. One example was the
Illuminati The Illuminati (; plural of Latin ''illuminatus'', 'enlightened') is a name given to several groups, both real and fictitious. Historically, the name usually refers to the Bavarian Illuminati, an Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment-era secre ...
founded in Bavaria in 1776, which was copied after the Freemasons, but was never part of the movement. The Illuminati was an overtly political group, which most Masonic lodges decidedly were not. Masonic lodges created a private model for public affairs. They "reconstituted the polity and established a constitutional form of self-government, complete with constitutions and laws, elections, and representatives". In other words, the micro-society set up within the lodges constituted a normative model for society as a whole. This was especially true on the continent: when the first lodges began to appear in the 1730s, their embodiment of British values was often seen as threatening by state authorities. For example, the Parisian lodge that met in the mid 1720s was composed of English Jacobite exiles. Furthermore, freemasons all across Europe explicitly linked themselves to the Enlightenment as a whole. For example, in French lodges the line "As the means to be enlightened I search for the enlightened" was a part of their initiation rites. British lodges assigned themselves the duty to "initiate the unenlightened". This did not necessarily link lodges to the irreligious, but neither did this exclude them from the occasional heresy. In fact, many lodges praised the Grand Architect, the masonic terminology for the deistic divine being who created a scientifically ordered universe. German historian Reinhart Koselleck claimed: "On the Continent there were two social structures that left a decisive imprint on the Age of Enlightenment: the Republic of Letters and the Masonic lodges". Scottish professor Thomas Munck argues that "although the Masons did promote international and cross-social contacts which were essentially non-religious and broadly in agreement with enlightened values, they can hardly be described as a major radical or reformist network in their own right". Many of the Masons values seemed to greatly appeal to Enlightenment values and thinkers. Diderot discusses the link between Freemason ideals and the enlightenment in D'Alembert's Dream, exploring masonry as a way of spreading enlightenment beliefs. Historian Margaret Jacob stresses the importance of the Masons in indirectly inspiring enlightened political thought. On the negative side, Daniel Roche contests claims that Masonry promoted egalitarianism and he argues that the lodges only attracted men of similar social backgrounds. The presence of noble women in the French "lodges of adoption" that formed in the 1780s was largely due to the close ties shared between these lodges and aristocratic society. The major opponent of Freemasonry was the Roman Catholic Church so that in countries with a large Catholic element, such as France, Italy, Spain, and Mexico, much of the ferocity of the political battles involve the confrontation between what Davies calls the reactionary Church and enlightened Freemasonry. Even in France, Masons did not act as a group. American historians, while noting that Benjamin Franklin and
George Washington George Washington (February 22, 1732, 1799) was an American military officer, statesman, and Founding Fathers of the United States, Founding Father who served as the first president of the United States from 1789 to 1797. Appointed by the ...
were indeed active Masons, have downplayed the importance of Freemasonry in causing the American Revolution because the Masonic order was non-political and included both Patriots and their enemy the Loyalists.


Art

The art produced during the Enlightenment focused on a search for morality that was absent from the art in previous eras. At the same time, the
Classical art Ancient Greek art stands out among that of other ancient cultures for its development of naturalistic but idealized depictions of the human body, in which largely nude male figures were generally the focus of innovation. The rate of stylistic d ...
of Greece and Rome became interesting to people again, since archaeological teams discovered
Pompeii Pompeii (, ) was an ancient city located in what is now the ''comune'' of Pompei near Naples in the Campania region of Italy. Pompeii, along with Herculaneum and many villas in the surrounding area (e.g. at Villa Boscoreale, Boscoreale, Stabi ...
and
Herculaneum Herculaneum (; Neapolitan language, Neapolitan and it, Ercolano) was an ancient town, located in the modern-day ''comune'' of Ercolano, Campania, Italy. Herculaneum was buried under volcanic ash and pumice in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in ...
. People took inspiration from it and revived classical art into neo-classical art. This can especially be seen in early American art and architecture, which featured arches, goddesses, and other classical architectural designs.


See also

*
1755 Lisbon earthquake The 1755 Lisbon earthquake, also known as the Great Lisbon earthquake, impacted Portugal, the Iberian Peninsula, and Northwest Africa on the morning of Saturday, 1 November, All Saints' Day, Feast of All Saints, at around 09:40 local time. In ...
*
Atlantic Revolutions The Atlantic Revolutions (22 March 1765 – 4 December 1838) were numerous revolutions in the Atlantic World in the late 18th and early 19th century. Following the Age of Enlightenment, ideas critical of absolutist monarchies began to spread. ...
*
Chapbook A chapbook is a small publication of up to about 40 pages, sometimes bound with a Bookbinding#Stitched or sewn binding, saddle stitch. In early modern Europe a chapbook was a type of printed street literature. Produced cheaply, chapbooks were ...
*
Early modern philosophy Early modern philosophy (also classical modern philosophy)Richard Schacht, ''Classical Modern Philosophers: Descartes to Kant'', Routledge, 2013, p. 1: "Seven men have come to stand out from all of their counterparts in what has come to be known ...
* Education in the Age of Enlightenment *
European and American voyages of scientific exploration The era of European and American voyages of scientific exploration followed the Age of Discovery and were inspired by a new confidence in science and reason that arose in the Age of Enlightenment. Maritime expeditions in the Age of Discovery were ...
*
Midlands Enlightenment The Midlands Enlightenment, also known as the West Midlands Enlightenment or the Birmingham Enlightenment, was a scientific, economic, political, cultural and legal manifestation of the Age of Enlightenment that developed in Birmingham and the wide ...
* Regional Enlightenments: **
American Enlightenment The American Enlightenment was a period of intellectual ferment in the Thirteen Colonies, thirteen American colonies in the 18th to 19th century, which led to the American Revolution, and the creation of the United States of America. The American ...
**
Haskalah The ''Haskalah'', often termed Jewish Enlightenment ( he, השכלה; literally, "wisdom", "erudition" or "education"), was an intellectual movement among the Jews of Central Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, with a certain influence on those ...
, Jewish Enlightenment **
Modern Greek Enlightenment The Modern Greek Enlightenment ( el, Διαφωτισμός, ''Diafotismos'', "enlightenment," "illumination"; also known as the Neo-Hellenic Enlightenment) was the Greek expression of the Age of Enlightenment. Origins The Greek Enlightenment w ...
** Polish Enlightenment ** Russian Enlightenment **
Scottish Enlightenment The Scottish Enlightenment ( sco, Scots Enlichtenment, gd, Soillseachadh na h-Alba) was the period in History of Scotland#18th century, 18th- and early-19th-century Scotland characterised by an outpouring of intellectual and scientific accomplis ...
** Spanish Enlightenment *
Renaissance philosophy The designation "Renaissance philosophy" is used by scholars of History of ideas, intellectual history to refer to the thought of the period running in Europe roughly between 1400 and 1600 (the dates shift forward for central and northern Europe ...
*
Bengal Renaissance Bengal ( ; bn, বাংলা/বঙ্গ, translit=Bānglā/Bôngô, ) is a geopolitical, cultural and historical region in South Asia South Asia is the southern subregion of Asia Asia (, ) is one of the world's most not ...
*
Whig history Whig history (or Whig historiography) is an approach to historiography that presents history as a journey from an oppressive and benighted past to a "glorious present". The present described is generally one with modern forms of liberal democracy ...
*
Witch trials in the early modern period Witch trials in the early modern period saw that between 1400 to 1782, around 40,000 to 60,000 were killed due to suspicion that they were practicing witchcraft Witchcraft traditionally means the use of Magic (supernatural), magic or super ...
** Beyond the witch trials


Notes


References


Citations


Sources

* Andrew, Donna T. "Popular Culture and Public Debate: London 1780". ''The Historical Journal'', Vol. 39, No. 2. (June 1996), pp. 405–423
in JSTOR
* Burns, William. ''Science in the Enlightenment: An Encyclopædia'' (2003) * Cowan, Brian, ''The Social Life of Coffee: The Emergence of the British Coffeehouse''. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005 * Darnton, Robert. ''The Literary Underground of the Old Regime''. (1982). * * * * * Melton, James Van Horn. ''The Rise of the Public in Enlightenment Europe''. (2001). * * Robertson, Ritchie. ''The Enlightenment: The Pursuit of Happiness, 1680–1790''. London: Allen Lane, 2020; New York: HarperCollins, 2021 * * * Roche, Daniel. ''France in the Enlightenment''. (1998).


Further reading


Reference and surveys

* Becker, Carl L. ''The Heavenly City of the Eighteenth-Century Philosophers.'' (1932), a famous short classic * Chisick, Harvey. ''Historical Dictionary of the Enlightenment'' (2005) * Delon, Michel. ''Encyclopædia of the Enlightenment'' (2001) 1480 pp. * Dupré, Louis. ''The Enlightenment and the Intellectual Foundations of Modern Culture'' (2004) * Gay, Peter. ''The Enlightenment: The Rise of Modern Paganism'' (1966, 2nd ed. 1995), 592 pp
excerpt and text search vol 1
* Gay, Peter. ''The Enlightenment: The Science of Freedom'' (1969, 2nd ed. 1995), a highly influential stud
excerpt and text search vol 2
* Greensides F., Hyland P., Gomez O. (ed.). ''The Enlightenment'' (2002) * Fitzpatrick, Martin et al., eds. ''The Enlightenment World'' (2004). 714 pp. 39 essays by scholars * Hampson, Norman. ''The Enlightenment'' (1981
online
* Hazard, Paul. ''European Thought in the 18th Century: From Montesquieu to Lessing'' (1965) * Hesmyr, Atle. ''From Enlightenment to Romanticism in 18th Century Europe'' (2018) * Himmelfarb, Gertrude. ''The Roads to Modernity: The British, French, and American Enlightenments'' (2004
excerpt and text search
* Jacob, Margaret. ''Enlightenment: A Brief History with Documents'' 2000 * Kors, Alan Charles. ''Encyclopædia of the Enlightenment'' (4 vol. 1990; 2nd ed. 2003), 1984 pp
excerpt and text search
* Lehner, Ulrich L. ''The Catholic Enlightenment'' (2016) * Lehner, Ulrich L. ''Women, Catholicism and Enlightenment'' (2017) * Munck, Thomas. ''Enlightenment: A Comparative Social History, 1721–1794'' (1994) * Outram, Dorinda. ''The Enlightenment'' (1995) 157 pp
excerpt and text search
als
online
* Outram, Dorinda. ''Panorama of the Enlightenment'' (2006), emphasis on Germany; heavily illustrated * * Reill, Peter Hanns, and Wilson, Ellen Judy. ''Encyclopædia of the Enlightenment.'' (2nd ed. 2004). 670 pp. * Robertson, Ritchie. ''The Enlightenment: The Pursuit of Happiness, 1680-1790.'' (2021). * * * Yolton, John W. et al. ''The Blackwell Companion to the Enlightenment.'' (1992). 581 pp.


Specialty studies

* Aldridge, A. Owen (ed.). ''The Ibero-American Enlightenment'' (1971). * Artz, Frederick B. ''The Enlightenment in France'' (1998
online
* Brewer, Daniel. ''The Enlightenment Past: Reconstructing 18th-Century French Thought'' (2008) * Broadie, Alexander. ''The Scottish Enlightenment: The Historical Age of the Historical Nation'' (2007) * Broadie, Alexander. ''The Cambridge Companion to the Scottish Enlightenment'' (2003
excerpt and text search
* * Brown, Stuart, ed. ''British Philosophy in the Age of Enlightenment'' (2002) * Buchan, James. ''Crowded with Genius: The Scottish Enlightenment: Edinburgh's Moment of the Mind'' (2004
excerpt and text search
* Campbell, R.S. and Skinner, A.S., (eds.) ''The Origins and Nature of the Scottish Enlightenment'', Edinburgh, 1982 * Cassirer, Ernst. ''The Philosophy of the Enlightenment.'' 1955. a highly influential study by a neoKantian philosophe
excerpt and text search
* Chartier, Roger. ''The Cultural Origins of the French Revolution''. Translated by Lydia G. Cochrane. Duke University Press, 1991. * * Edelstein, Dan. ''The Enlightenment: A Genealogy'' (University of Chicago Press; 2010) 209 pp. * * Goodman, Dena. ''The Republic of Letters: A Cultural History of the French Enlightenment''. (1994). * Hesse, Carla. ''The Other Enlightenment: How French Women Became Modern''. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001. * Hankins, Thomas L. ''Science and the Enlightenment'' (1985). * May, Henry F. ''The Enlightenment in America.'' 1976. 419 pp. * Porter, Roy. ''The Creation of the Modern World: The Untold Story of the British Enlightenment.'' 2000. 608 pp
excerpt and text search
* Redkop, Benjamin. ''The Enlightenment and Community'', 1999 * Reid-Maroney, Nina. ''Philadelphia's Enlightenment, 1740–1800: Kingdom of Christ, Empire of Reason.'' 2001. 199 pp. * * Sorkin, David. ''The Religious Enlightenment: Protestants, Jews, and Catholics from London to Vienna'' (2008) * Staloff, Darren. ''Hamilton, Adams, Jefferson: The Politics of Enlightenment and the American Founding.'' 2005. 419 pp
excerpt and text search
* Suitner, Riccarda. ''The Dialogues of the Dead of the Early German Enlightenment'' (Leiden-Boston: Brill, 2022) * Till, Nicholas. ''Mozart and the Enlightenment: Truth, Virtue, and Beauty in Mozart's Operas.'' 1993. 384 pp. * Tunstall, Kate E. ''Blindness and Enlightenment. An Essay. With a new translation of Diderot's Letter on the Blind'' (Continuum, 2011) * Venturi, Franco. ''Utopia and Reform in the Enlightenment''. George Macaulay Trevelyan Lecture, (1971) * Venturi, Franco. ''Italy and the Enlightenment: studies in a cosmopolitan century'' (1972
online
* Wills, Garry. ''Cincinnatus: George Washington and the Enlightenment'' (1984
online
* Winterer, Caroline. ''American Enlightenments: Pursuing Happiness in the Age of Reason'' (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2016) * Navarro i Soriano, Ferran (2019). Harca, harca, harca! Músiques per a la recreació històrica de la Guerra de Successió (1794–1715). Editorial DENES. .


Primary sources

* Broadie, Alexander, ed. ''The Scottish Enlightenment: An Anthology'' (2001
excerpt and text search
* Diderot, Denis. ''Rameau's Nephew and other Works'' (2008) excerpt and text search. * Diderot, Denis. "Letter on the Blind" in Tunstall, Kate E. ''Blindness and Enlightenment. An Essay. With a new translation of Diderot's Letter on the Blind'' (Continuum, 2011) * Diderot, Denis. ''The Encyclopédie of Diderot and D'Alembert: Selected Articles'' (1969) excerpt and text search Collaborative Translation Project of the University of Michigan * * Gomez, Olga, et al. eds. ''The Enlightenment: A Sourcebook and Reader'' (2001
excerpt and text search
* Kramnick, Issac, ed. ''The Portable Enlightenment Reader'' (1995
excerpt and text search
* Manuel, Frank Edward, ed. ''The Enlightenment'' (1965) online, excerpts * Schmidt, James, ed. ''What is Enlightenment?: Eighteenth-Century Answers and Twentieth-Century Questions'' (1996
excerpt and text search


External links

* * *
Collection: Art of the Enlightenment Era
from the
University of Michigan Museum of Art The University of Michigan Museum of Art in Ann Arbor, Michigan with is one of the largest university art museums in the United States. Built as a war memorial in 1909 for the university's fallen alumni from the American Civil War, Civil War, Alum ...
{{Authority control Autonomy Critical thinking Enlightenment philosophy Enlightment History of Europe by period Learning Enlightenment Progress Reasoning Enlightenment Secular humanism Truth Virtue Enlightenment