Home Discussion Forum What is enlightenment? Why was it a good catalyst for independence ?

What is enlightenment? Why was it a good catalyst for independence ?

Enlighttenment was believe to question the power of a ruler, to question knowlege, and to question life? How important was the Age of reasoning? or how important is Enlightenment?


  1. I think with reasoning comes enlightenment………..you feel it you see it and you can read it……………………..
    It takes a lot of 1 on 1 time with yourself………………
    Deep meditation on your life and the world……………..
    Plenty of soul searching…………..
    I think when you do become enlightened your senses are so sharp……………..
    You become so aware of your surroundings hahaha you do not miss a beep :))))))))))))))))

  2. The Scottish Enlightenment fostered ideals of individualism, self-government, the free market and liberalism. It’s legacy is modern Democracy, Capitalism and the value of Liberty.
    The French Enlightenment fostered class-consciousness, public ownership, protectionism and socialism. It’s legacy is Socialism/Communism.
    The difference is that while Scotland and the British people as a whole, enjoyed some liberty and had a form of representative government after the Glorious Revolution of 1688, the French still lived under autocratic Kings and were no more free than feudal serfs.
    In the late 19th and early 20th century, you see a blending of these things, resulting in modern Social-Democracy.
    The time period as a whole is monumental in history. It saw the re-rebirth of reason and logic. It fostered scientific growth and attempted to make all forms of life scientific in nature. It saw the idea of the sovereignty of the people over monarchs take hold all over the West.
    In my opinion, one of the most pervasive results of the Enlightenment was the “professionalization” of almost everything. Today we wouldn’t even think of asking a non-professional about anything important in our lives.

  3. “This view asserts that the Enlightenment was the point when Europe broke through what historian Peter Gay calls “the sacred circle,” whose dogma had circumscribed thinking. The Enlightenment is held to be the source of critical ideas, such as the centrality of freedom, democracy and reason as primary values of society. This view argues that the establishment of a contractual basis of rights would lead to the market mechanism and capitalism, the scientific method, religious and racial 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 to every problem is considered the essential change. From this point on, thinkers and writers were held to be free to pursue the truth in whatever form, without the threat of sanction for violating established ideas.”
    “Age of Enlightenment : Influence” : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_Enlightenment#Influence
    “Where the state had once been viewed as an earthly approximation of an eternal order, with the city of man modeled on the city of God, now it came to be seen as a mutually beneficial arrangement among men aimed at protecting the natural rights and self-interest of each.”
    “The idea of society as a social contract, however, contrasted sharply with the realities of actual societies. Thus the Enlightenment became critical, reforming, and eventually revolutionary. Locke and Jeremy Bentham in England, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Montesquieu, and Voltaire in France, and Thomas Jefferson in America all contributed to an evolving critique of the arbitrary, authoritarian state and to sketching the outline of a higher form of social organization, based on natural rights and functioning as a political democracy. Such powerful ideas found expression as reform in England and as revolution in France and America.”
    “Enlightenment”, Encyclop√ɬ¶dia Britannica CD 2000

  4. This will get you started
    Look at the section in the article called “Enlightenment republicanism”.
    Locke’s work influenced Voltaire and Rousseau, per the piece. The enlightenment ideas are the intellectual underpinnings of the US government IE , government by consent, democracy.
    See also


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