Ap european history: Chapter 17: The 18th Century An Age of Enlightenment I. The enlightenment

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AP EUROPEAN HISTORY: Chapter 17: The 18th Century - An

Age of Enlightenment

A. German philosopher Emmanuel Kant defined the

Enlightenment as follows:

1. “Man’s leaving his self-caused immaturity.”

2. Motto of the period: “Dare to know!”

3. “Have the courage to use your own intelligence.”

B. The Paths to Enlightenment

1. Many philosophers saw themselves as the heirs of

the pagan philosophers of antiquity and the Italian

humanists of the Renaissance who had revived the world

of classical antiquity.

2. Bernard de Fontenelle (1657-1757)

a. Secretary of the French Royal Academy of Science

from 1691 to 1741

b. He never performed any scientific experiments nor

made any scientific discoveries

c. He possessed a deep knowledge of all the scientific

work of earlier centuries and his own time

d. He was able to communicate this body of scientific

knowledge in a clear and witty way that was appealing

to upper-class audiences with such works as Plurality

of Worlds which praised and popularized the new ideas

of a mechanistic universe

e. His works announce the arrival of the Enlightenment

because they popularize a growing skepticism toward

the claims of religion and they portray churches as

clear enemies of scientific progress

f. He was considered one of the most important links

between the scientists of the 17th Century and the

philosophes of the 18th Century.

3. Enlightened thinkers can be understood as

secularists because they strongly recommended the

application of the scientific method to the analysis

and understanding to all aspects of human life

4. European intellectual life in the 18th Century was

marked by the emergence of secularization and a search

to find the natural laws governing human life

5. Isaac Newton and John Locke

a. Both men provided deep inspiration for the

Enlightenment by arguing that through rational

reasoning and the human acquisition of knowledge one

could discover natural laws governing all aspects of

human society

b. In Locke’s “Essay Concerning Human Understanding”, he

contributes to the development of Enlightenment

ideas by arguing that a person’s character was shaped by

that person’s environment (tabula rasa), not by

innate ideas implanted in the brain by God

C. The Philosophes and Their Ideas

1. They were literate intellectuals who meant to

change the world by advancing reason and rationality

2. Philosophes is the French word for philosopher

given to these intellectuals despite the fact that not

all of them were French and few were philosophers in

the literal sense

3. They were literary people, professors, journalists,

statesmen, economists, political scientists, and most

importantly social reformers

4. They primarily came from upper and middle classes

5. A fundamental motive driving the philosophes to

demand ever greater freedom of thought and expression

was their devotion to improvement and enjoyment of the


6. A key new type of enlightened writing fueling

skepticism about the ‘truths’ of Christianity and

European society was travel reports and comparative

studies of old and new world cultures

7. Enhanced France as the dominant country of European


8. Paris was considered the recognized capital of


9. Pierre Bayle (1647-1706)

a. Protestant skeptic known for his criticism of

traditional religious attitudes

b. he attacked superstition, religious intolerance,

and dogmatism

c. he believed a society would benefit from the

existence of many religions within it

d. in his major work, Historical and Critical

Dictionary, he states that the new rational

principles of textual criticism should be applied to all types

of writing including the Bible

10. Charles de Secondat [the Baron de Montesquieu]


a. came from French nobility

b. life dedicated to travel, study, and writing

c. ideas included in his works include an attack on

traditional religion, the advocacy of religious

toleration, the denunciation of slavery, and the use

of reason to liberate human beings from their


d. most famous work was The Spirit of the Laws (1748)

1. comparative study of governments in which he

attempted to apply the scientific method to

the social and political arena to ascertain the ‘natural

laws’ governing social relationships of human beings

2. said environment and geographical factors

shaped a nation’s type of government

3. divided governments into 3 categories:

republics, monarchies, and despots

4. above all else he was concerned with

maintaining balances among the various branches of

government (Separation of Powers)

5. work influential in shaping American government


11. Francios-Marie Arouet [Voltaire] (1694-1778)

a. Son of a prosperous middle class family in


b. French playwright known for his social satire

c. Plays such as Oedipe and Henriade made him the

darling of French intellectuals as well as

well-received by English literary and social


d. Major themes running through his works include

a simple view of Jesus, religious toleration,

and deism (based on Newton’s great clockmaker concept of

the universe)

e. In his Philosophic Letters to the English

(1733), he expressed a deep admiration for the

English love of freedom, tolerance, and commercial excellence

f. Although he touched on all themes important to

the philosophes, he is best known for his

criticism of religious intolerance, which became even more

prevalent in his later writings such as Treatise on

Toleration (1763)

12. Denis Diderot (1713-1784)

a. son of a skilled craftsman from eastern France

b. received a Jesuit education and later attended the

University of Paris

c. became a free-lance writer so he could be free to

study and read in many subjects and languages

d. was the most versatile of all the philosophes, as

exemplified by the various types of provocative

literature he wrote

e. chief target of his disdain was Christianity which

he termed the “most absurd and the most

atrocious in its dogma”.

f. favored renunciation of chastity and narrow

Christian definitions of acceptable sexual relations

and expressions of love

g. His most famous contribution to the Enlightenment’s

battle against religious fanaticism, intolerance, and

prudery was his 28-volume Encyclopedia compiling

articles by many influential philosophes

1. this work was a major weapon for the philosophes

versus old French society

2. later editions saw a significant drop in price,

which made it more accessible to the public

13. The belief in natural laws underlying all areas of

human life led to the social sciences.

14. David Hume (1711-1776)

a. Scottish philosopher who believed in the “science of man”

b. Wrote Treatise on Human Nature which argued that

observation and reflection, grounded in “systematized

common sense” made conceivable a “science of man”.

15. Francois Quesnay (1694-1774)

a. a highly successful French court physician

b. leader of the Physiocrats

c. along with Adam Smith, the Physiocrats considered

founders of the modern discipline of economics

d. believed land constituted the only source of true


e. rejected mercantilist emphasis on money

f. stressed the existence of the natural economic

forces of supply and demand made it imperative that

individuals should be left free to pursue their own

economic self-interest

16. Adam Smith (1723-1790)

a. Scottish philosopher and economist

b. Wrote Wealth of Nations (1776) which was the best

statement of laissez-faire economics written during

that time

c. Condemned use of protective tariffs

d. Believed labor constituted the true wealth of a


e. Believed the state should not interfere in economic


f. Laid foundation for 19th Century economic


17. Baron Paul d’Holbach (1723-1789)

a. wealthy German aristocrat who settled in Paris

b. preached a doctrine of strict atheism and


c. wrote System of Nature (1770) which stated that men

were machines and God was a mere product of the human

mind and was unnecessary for leading a moral life

18. Marie-Jean de Condorcet (1743-1794)

a. French philosophe

b. Believed in the idea of human perfectibility

c. Major work was The Progress of the Human Mind which

he wrote in hiding during the French Revolution’s

Reign of Terror

d. Captured and executed during this period

19. Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)

a. born in Geneva, Switzerland

b. abandoned by his family at an early age

c. spent his youth wandering about France and Italy

holding various jobs

d. with the money he made as a paid lover to an older

woman, he went back to school where he studied music

and the classics

e. became a friend of Diderot who introduced him to

Paris salons (never very comfortable in Paris social


f. his political beliefs were expressed in two major


1. Discourse on the Origins of the Inequality of


a. viewed primitive man as a noble savage

b. said people adopted laws and governments to preserve

their private property

c. viewed government as an evil, but a necessary one

2. The Social Contract (1762)

a. tried to harmonize individual liberty with

governmental authority

b. stated that freedom is achieved by being forced to

follow what is best for all people or the “GENERAL


c. the general will represented a community’s highest

aspirations that are best for the entire community

d. this work was the ultimate statement in

participatory democracy

g. believed that private property was the source of

inequality and the chief cause of crimes

h. he also wrote an influential novel entitled Emile

(1762) which was one of the Enlightenment’s most

important works on education and proper child rearing

i. sought a balance in his life between matters of the

heart and mind

j. this emphasis on the heart made him a precursor to

the Romanticism movement of the early 19th Century

20. The “Woman’s Question” in the Enlightenment

a. for centuries male intellectuals argued that the base

nature of women made them inferior to men and

made male domination of women necessary

b. during the Enlightenment, thinkers such as Rousseau

reinforced this view by pointing out the “natural”

biological differences between men and women

c. many philosophes argued that women were

intellectually inferior and predisposed to child


d. Diderot and Voltaire were notable exceptions,

viewing women more as intellectual equals than most of

their counterparts

21. Mary Astell (1666-1731)

a. daughter of a wealthy English coal merchant

b. in her 1697 book, A Serious Proposal to the Ladies,

she stressed the need for women to become better


c. in her later work, Some Reflections upon Marriage,

she argued for the equality of the sexes in marriage

22. Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797)

a. English writer viewed by many as the founder of

modern European feminism

b. Wrote Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792)

1. considered the strongest statement for the rights

of women in the 18th Century

2. considered women being expected to be subservient

to men was contrary to the true spirit of the

Enlightenment which upheld the ideal of all

humans possessing innate reason

3. argued if all humans were blessed with innate

reason that men and women should be treated as

equals to men in education, economics, and politics

D. The Social Environment of the Philosophes

1. The Enlightenment was not limited to any one class,

but obviously its greatest appeal was to the

aristocracy and the upper middle class

2. Tended to be urban rather than rural

3. Enlightenment left the common people unaffected for

the most part

4. Salons, particularly in Paris, were of great

importance during the Enlightenment for all of the

following reasons:

a. provided a forum for the serious discussion of the

ideas of the philosophes

b. gave social mobility to both men and women

c. were usually run by women for male guests


  1. Innovations in Art, Music, and Literature

  1. Art

  1. by the 1730s a new style of art known as ROCOCO had begun to affect decoration and architecture all over Europe

  2. movement started in France but extremely popular in Germany

  3. emphasized grace and gentle action

  4. had a fondness for curves and liked to follow wandering lines of natural objects such as seashells or flowers

  5. highly secular

  6. Rococo had a sense of enchantment and exuberance

  7. Major Rococo artists:

  1. Antoine Watteau (1684-1721) [painter]—famous work is The Pilgrimage to Cythera (1716-1717)

  2. Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696-1770) [painter]—masterpiece is the ceiling of the Bishop’s Palace at Wurzburg

  3. Balthasar Neumann (1687-1753) [architect]—most famous design was the pilgrimage church of the Vierzehnheiligen

  4. Domenikus Zimmermann (1685-1766) [architect]—famous design was the pilgrimage church of Wies

  1. Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825) was a famous neoclassical artist of the era; famous work was Oath of Horatii (1784)

  1. Music

  1. the 17th and 18th centuries were formative years of classical music and saw the rise of the opera and oratorio, the sonata, the concerto, and the symphony

  2. the Italians were the first to create these genres, but were soon followed by the Germans, Austrians, and English

  3. Important Musicians

  1. Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

  1. German

  2. Perfected Baroque musical style

  3. best known for his cantatas and motets

  4. was equally capable of producing sublime religious as well as boisterous secular music

  5. known for Mass in B Minor, St. Mathew’s Passion, Coffee Cantata, Toccotta and Fugue

  1. George Frederick Handel (1685-1759)

  1. German

  2. perfected Baroque musical style

  3. wrote music for large public audiences

  4. predominantly wrote operas and other secular music

  5. best known for his religious music (Messiah)

  1. Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)

  1. Hungarian

  2. composed 104 symphonies

  3. most famous works were oratorios—The Creation and The Seasons which were both dedicated to the common people

  1. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

  1. Austrian

  2. Along with Haydn caused a musical shift from Italy to Austria

  3. Known for his operas including: The Marriage of Figaro, The Magic Flute, and Don Giovanni

  1. Literature

  1. The Development of the Novel

  1. 18th Century writers, especially in England, used the modern novel to attack hypocrisies of the era and provide sentimental entertainment for a growing audience

  2. Samuel Richardson (1689-1761)

  1. English

  2. Known for his use of sentiment and emotion

  3. Most famous work was Pamela

  1. Henry Fielding (1707-1754)

  1. English

  2. Attacked the hypocrisy of his age

  3. Wrote novels about people without scruples who survived by their wits

  4. Most famous work was Tom Jones

  1. The Writing of History

  1. the most significant change in writing histories in the 18th Century was the removal of God as a causative factor of change

  2. Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon was the most significant historical work of the time period; gave the rise of Christianity as the chief cause for the fall of the empire

  1. The High Culture of the 18th Century

  1. High culture refers to the literary and artistic culture of the educated and wealthy ruling classes

  2. High culture in 18th Century Europe was characterized by the enormous impact of the book, magazine, and newspaper publishing with England leading the way.

  1. an important aspect of the growth of publishing and reading in the 18th Century was the development of magazines such as England’s Spectator for the general public

  2. in 1702 the first daily newspaper was published in London

  3. by 1780, 37 other English towns had their own newspapers

  1. Education and Universities

  1. most schools in 18th Century Europe were elitist and designed to serve the needs of the upper class

  2. the curriculum of these secondary schools largely concentrated on the Greek and Latin classics with little attention paid to mathematics, the sciences, and modern languages

  3. most universities of this era produced little intellectual growth and scholarship although there were exceptions such as the University of Gottingen in Hanover and the University of Edinburgh

  4. an important development in education in Europe in the 18th Century was a broader and more practical university curriculum by the end of the century

  1. Crime and Punishment

  1. by the 18th Century, most European states had a hierarchy of courts to deal with civil and criminal cases

  2. except in England, judicial torture remained an important means of obtaining evidence before a trial

  3. punishments for crimes were often public and gruesome

  4. public executions were a basic part of traditional punishment

  5. appalled by unjust laws and brutal punishments of their times, some philosophes sought to create a new approach to justice

  6. philosophes thought that punishments should serve as deterrents not as exercises in brutality

  7. by the end of the 18th Century, a growing sentiment against executions and torture led to a decline in both corporal and capital punishment

  1. The World of Medicine

  1. in the 18th Century, medicine was practiced by a hierarchy of practitioners

  2. below the physicians were the surgeons, who were still known as barber-surgeons well into the 18th Century from their original dual role

  3. surgeons primary job was to bleed patients and perform surgeries without painkillers and often times in filthy conditions

  4. during the 18th Century surgeons began to separate themselves from barbers and began undergoing training in dissecting corpses and studying anatomy more systematically

  5. medical practitioners such as apothecaries, midwives, and faith healers, primarily served the common people in the 18th Century

  6. despite appeals, hospitals remained in an infantile stage in the 18th Century

  1. Popular Culture

  1. refers to the often unwritten and unofficial culture passed down orally that was fundamental to the lives of most people

  2. its distinguishing characteristic is its collective and public nature

  3. the Carnival (festival leading up to Lent) of the Mediterranean world was a period of intense sexual activity and gross excesses

  4. the same sense of community evident in religious festivals was also present in the chief gathering places of the common people, the local taverns and cabarets

  5. in some countries the favorite drinks of poor people (gin in England/vodka in Russia) had devastating effects as poor people often drank themselves into oblivion

  6. the rich were also heavy drinkers (usually port and brandy)

  7. despite a widening cultural gap between rich and poor, urban fairs, boxing matches, and horse races often brought people of all classes together

  8. chapbooks, printed on cheap paper containing both spiritual and secular content, were short brochures sold to the lower classes by street peddlers

  9. chapbooks proved that popular culture did not have to be spread exclusively orally anymore

  10. literacy rates in 18th Century Europe were especially high in cities

  1. literacy rate of male artisans and workers rose from 28% in 1710 to 85% by 1789

  2. literacy rate of women remained a constant 15% throughout the century

  3. peasants remained largely illiterate

  4. the spread of literacy was closely linked to primary education

  5. the emphasis of the Protestant reformers on reading the Bible had led Protestant states to take greater interest in primary education


  1. despite the anti-religious sentiments of many of this era’s philosophes, music and art had religious themes during this time

  2. most Europeans were still Christians

  3. even many of the church’s harshest critics didn’t think society could function without religious faith

  4. The Institutional Church

  1. in the 18th Century, churches, both Catholic and Protestant still played a major role in social and spiritual areas in European society

  2. the established Catholic and Protestant churches were basically conservative institutions that upheld society’s hierarchical structure, privileged classes, and traditions

  3. the church run by priest or pastor remained the center of religious practice

  4. the church kept records of births, deaths, marriages, provided charity for the poor, supervised whatever primary education there was, and cared for orphans---------------------------------------------------------------------------1&2

  5. church/state relations

  1. Lutheranism---Scandinavia and northern Germany

  2. Anglicanism---England

  3. Calvinism---Scotland, the United Provinces (Netherlands), and some Swiss cantons and German states

  4. Orthodox ----Russia and southeastern Europe

  5. Islam---Ottoman Empire

  6. Roman Catholicism---Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, the Hapsburg Empire, Poland, and most of southern Germany

  1. the Catholic church remained hierarchically structured with a wide gulf in the standard of living still existing between the upper clergy and lower clergy

  2. Catholic countries began a “nationalization” process of the church within their borders

  3. Jesuits, who wielded great power in France, Spain, and Portugal through their running of secondary schools, missionary work in colonies, and role as advisors to Catholic kings, soon were viewed targets for elimination

  4. Over a 14 year period beginning in 1759, the Jesuits not only saw their influence end in these countries but their religious order cease to exist

  5. The end of the Jesuits was paralleled by a decline in papal power

  6. Austria, through its Edict on Idle Institutions (1782), suppressed all the contemplative monastic orders, allowing only those that provided charitable or educational services to survive (cut the number of monks in Austria by 50%)

  1. toleration and religious minorities

  1. despite religious hard-liners such as Louis XIV of France and Maria Theresa of Austria, some progress was made toward the principle of religious toleration in Europe

  2. however, heretics were still persecuted during the 18th Century with the last known burning of a heretic taking place in 1781.

  3. Joseph II of Austria led the way in terms of religious toleration with his Toleration Patent of 1781 which recognized Catholicism’s public practice, granted Lutherans, Calvinists, and Greek Orthodox the right to worship privately; in all other ways, his subjects were considered equal

  1. toleration of Jews

  1. the Jews remained the most despised religious minority in Europe

  2. the largest number of Jews (Ashkenazic) lived in eastern Europe where they were restricted in their movements, forbidden to own land or hold many jobs, forced to pay burdensome special taxes, and subject to periodic and often violent outbursts of public wrath (relatively tolerant Poland was the only exception to this treatment in eastern Europe)

  3. the Jews (Sephardic) were also kicked out of Spain and soon migrated to Turkish lands as well as religiously tolerant cities such as Amsterdam, Venice, London, and Frankfurt where Jews were relatively free to participate in banking and commercial activities that they had been traditionally involved in since the Middle Ages

  4. some Enlightenment thinkers favored a new acceptance of Jews and urged that governments grant full citizenship to them

  5. many Europeans favored the assimilation of Jews into the mainstream of society, but only by the conversion of Jews to Christianity

  6. perhaps the most tolerant of the 18th Century monarchs toward Jews was Joseph II of Austria who made limited reforms by:

  1. freeing Jews from nuisance taxes and allowing them more job opportunities and freedom of movement

  2. encouraging Jews to learn German to better assimilate into Austrian society

  3. still restricted Jews from owning land or worshiping in public

  1. Popular Religion in the 18th Century

  1. Catholic piety

  1. it is difficult to assess the religiosity of Europe’s Catholics during this era

  2. despite the Reformation, much popular devotion was still directed to an externalized form of worship focusing on prayers to saints, pilgrimages, and devotion to relics and images

  3. many clergymen of the time felt that their parishioners were more superstitious than devout

  1. Protestant revivalism

  1. by the 17th Century, Protestant churches had settled down into well-established patterns controlled by state authorities and served by a well-educated clergy

  2. more and more, Protestant churches became bureaucratized and bereft of religious enthusiasm

  3. in response to rationalism and deism, many ordinary Protestant churchgoers began searching for greater depths of religious experience which eventually sparked Pietism

  1. begun in Germany in the 17th Century by a group of German clerics who wished their religion to be more personal and transformative

  2. spread by the teachings of Count Nikolaus von Zinzendorf (1700-1760) and his Moravian Brethren

  3. utterly opposed to the rationalist movement within Lutheran church

  1. John Wesley (1703-1791) led a Protestant revival in England

  1. created and controlled his evangelical Methodist church using revivalist techniques

  2. his message appealed to the lower classes neglected by the socially elitist Anglican Church of the time

  3. wanted to keep Methodist teachings within the umbrella of Anglican church but his movement left the Anglican church after his death

  4. his movement proved that the need for spiritual experience had not been expunged by the 18th Century search for reason

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