The Enlightenment

Digital History of the Enlightenment

a key to global education: Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci

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Perspective


The Enlightenment was an intellectual and philosophical movement that dominated thinking in Europe during the 18th century. It developed a new ethos centered on certain key tenets: the pursuit of happiness, the primacy of reason, and the certainty of the senses as the primary source of knowledge. New thinking took shape in civil liberties, tolerance, humanism, the belief that government can change hands peaceably in an orderly succession of power, and the separation of church and state. These ideas challenged the foundations of European statecraft and the bedrock authority of the Church.

The ideas of philosophers and scientists circulated through meetings at scientific academies, esoteric orders like the Masons, and the salons and coffeehouses of London and Paris where books, journals, and pamphlets were read and discussed. The rationalism and humanism of the Enlightenment eroded the divine authority of the monarchy and the Church. It went on to play a key role in the political revolutions in America, France, and elsewhere across the Continent in the 19th century. The 19th-century movements of liberalism, communism, and neoclassicism had their roots in the Enlightenment.

That said, here’s our assortment… please enjoy! When you’re done with perusing a map, just close it, and you’ll be back here.

Index

Enlightenment Index | Women | Culture: ArchitectureArtLearningLiterature: NovelsTravel | Music: Classical PeriodBachHandelMozartHaydn | Philosophy: PhilosophesOld RegimeFaith or Reason?Age of ReasonEnglish and Dutch PhasesRadical EnlightenmentLater Enlightenment Adam SmithPhysiocrats • | Popular Culture | Scholarship | Science and Technology | Medicine | Religion: AuthoritySects | Power: LawReform





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