Essay on 18th Century, Period of Enlightenment

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The Enlightenment took place during the 18th century and was defined as "man's leaving his self-caused immaturity." A popular motto took place: "dare to know." It was a period of questioning and appliance of reasoning to explore many subjects often left untouched. People were leaving behind their past and advocating the use of scientific method instead of unproven beliefs on religion. The Enlightenment takes its name from those who wanted to contribute to a brighter future and society.

Different paths were taken in order to make this period possible. The intellectuals didn't immediately gather their information from original scientific sources. Since most philosophers expressed their notions through complex literary works,
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People were beginning to compare themselves and realized the similarities or differences that shaped their society.

A last important trait for the inspiration of the Enlightenment came from two men. Isaac Newton and John Locke. Newton was known as a genius and made a great deal at instructing his personal rules to later uncover natural laws governing politics, economics, religion, arts, etc. His concept was recognized as the Newtonian world-machine. Locke tried to prove that humans were all born plain and acquired their notions of life through nurture instead of nature. He believed people could change and adopt new attitudes to create an improved society.

Taken together, these philosophers offered a possibility for a brave new world.

The leading figures of the Enlightenment were known as philosophers; they were literary people, professors, journalists, statesmen, and social reformers above all. They emerged from various social classes though most were French. They helped shape the culture in France and most importantly, Paris, but their movement soon spread across Europe and to the West. Although they had different backgrounds, they all shared a common point which was to discuss and attempt to change the world. Philosophers relied on scientific methods to explain events and applied rational criticism on all their works. A few dominant men left us with lasting impressions.

Montesquieu, a French noble,
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