Faith and Reason in the Enlightenment Essay

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In a time when faith and hard labor kept the majority of society alive, the introduction of reason by the Enlightenment was initially perceived as a threat. People had focused on their faiths and grasped the traditions and rituals of their dogmas. The Enlightenment introduced the possibility of faith and reason coinciding and cooperating to form a more civilized and equal society to replace the Old Regime, and the changes lasted far after the period of the Enlightenment.

Leading up to the Enlightenment Prior to the Enlightenment, England and France instituted Old Regime societies in which three distinct classes of people embraced religion as the foundation of their lives. Each caste had a different lifestyle, with
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Internally, disagreements over religion fluctuated according to the religion of the monarch in power. In 1642 in England, civil war broke out because Charles I was soft on Catholics, the Parliament was divided in religious conformity, and the Presbyterians and Anglicans could not get along. Also, the battle between Catholicism and Protestantism raged for years, coming to a climax with the Glorious Revolution in 1688. The Glorious Revolution came about with the end of Catholic James II's rule and the argument of who who would inherit his throne. His son, James, was Catholic and had a son who was Catholic as well. At the time, society was fearful of another Catholic leader. Mary, James II's daughter, was married to William the Orange, who was Dutch. Together, they forced James III out of contention and took the throne. They drafted the "...Toleration Act of 1689 (which) legalized all forms of Protestantism -- save those that denied the Trinity-- and outlawed Roman Catholicism."2

Toward the end of the Old Regime, new theories developed and introduced the possibility of solving both the hardship of the Third Estate and the religious skirmishes. In 1593, Copernicus offered the beginning

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