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Definition and Meaning of Enlightenment

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    The Enlightenment is a combination of the Renaissance and the Scientific Revolution, marked with a sense of less spirituality and more secularism.  Less spirituality, more secularism.  During this time, people questioned authority more than ever before. People wanted equality – or at least semi-equality – where the masses weren’t dirt-poor and the middle class totally unobtainable. Not only were more people learned (thanks to the printing press in the Renaissance), but they were also able to apply that newfound knowledge in exploring their world.  People in Paris came together in Salons, where they spoke as intellectuals, listened to the popular music of the day, and read stories. (beatnik generation gatherings? )

    A new medium for spreading knowledge is gaining a strong foothold. People use this forum to not only share information but also as entertainment. For instance:  Charles de Second de Baron de Montesquieu. In The Persian Letters, he openly mocked the kings and nobility of the time.

    Over 20 years, produced a 28-volume set of encyclopedias, which the French gov’t tried to ban.. which only made people want to read them more. Charles de Second de Baron de Montesquieu . In the spirit of the Law, Montesquieu proposed limited monarchy, checks and balances in gov’t, and a separation of powers. Voltaire – A social reformist who supported free speech, “I do not agree with a word that you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it. ” (later exiled for speaking out against the gov’t).

    Adam Smith – British economist who supported the natural laws of economics.  Mary Wollstonecraft – “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman” – believed that women weren’t naturally inferior to men, but lacked education.

    Baroque Period – late 1600s – early 1700s. Baroque – dramatic, heavy music (symphonic death metal). Fugue – Single or Multiple melodies weaved together with slight variations. Johann Sebastian Bach. George Frederick Handel. Counterpoint – weaves two or more melodies together.

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    Definition and Meaning of Enlightenment. (2018, Feb 04). Retrieved from

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