Topic to answer: What was the ‘Enlightenment’? What factors were critical in creating it, and how does it
affect Western society?
There are must be 4 paragraphs, check the rubric. Reference should be in the book MOST: Paul Edward
Dutton, Suzanne Marchand, and Deborah Harkness, Many Europes: Choice and Chance in Western
Civilization (McGraw Hill), volume 2, Since 1500. AND you can also research online.
What was the ‘Enlightenment’? What factors were critical in creating it, and how
does it affect Western society?
Enlightenment is a time in history period in between 1689 and 1789, when people sought to improve themselves by attempting to acquire more information (Dutton, Marchand & Harkness 493). Innovative thinkers from Europe like John Locke, Adam Smith, David Hume, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau challenged the authority of religion and absolute government, asserting the fact that “human societies were moving towards greater peace as well as the ability to reason” (Dutton, Marchand & Harkness, 501). The Age of Enlightenment in Europe introduced an era of critical thinking and thinking in contrast to the traditional systems which discouraged religious skepticism and penalized public disobedience. In the Enlightenment, scholars debated the role of religion in the governance process and challenged notions that the authority of monarchs to rule states was derived from God.
The major factors behind the enlightenment of Europe were skeptical, rationality, and individualism. Western society saw major modifications in its organization of politics and religious practices due to the numerous critiques made in the Enlightenment period, based on scholarly concepts. The term “Enlightenment” is a reference to a period in which people employed critical thinking and skepticism in order to look at and examine the major social issues, that led to a more open western society. The Enlightenment was born out of the doubts that was exhibited against certain groups of society who were able to rule without opposition (Dutton, Marchand & Harkness 495). The traditional European system was based on Aristocratic privileges and clerical privileges on those who were discontented by the sweeping state power. However, the advancements in the field of commerce and technology proved that the writings of classical authors and church teachings may be in error (Dutton, Marchand & Harkness 495).
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