The Enlightenment

Decent Essays
World Literature

The Enlightenment’s Impact on the Modern World The Enlightenment, Age of Reason, began in the late 17th and 18th century. This was a period in Europe and America when mankind was emerging from centuries of ignorance into a new age enlightened by reason, science, and respect for humanity. This period promoted scientific thought, skeptics, and intellectual interchange: dismissing superstition, intolerance, and for some, religion. Western Europe, Germany, France, and Great Britain, and the American Colonies generally influenced the age of reason. Following the Renaissance, science and rationality was the forefront of this age. The enlightenment came as a wave throughout Europe, drastically changing the culture. The
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An unobstructed supply of grain in France would be a means of increasing total output. In 1776 Adam Smith published The Wealth of Nations, which forwards similar ideas. Smith was somewhat different from the physiocrats, though, because he believed that labor and the market were the prime creators of wealth. Smith argues “The greatest improvement in the productive powers of labour, and the greater part of the skill, dexterity, and judgment with which it is anywhere directed, or applied, seem to have been the effects of the division of labour.”(Smith) He believes labor for one owns success is the best way to work, not wealth based on social standings. In making these arguments, both the physiocrats and Adam Smith struck at the hold that the aristocracy was trying to maintain on the economy. Locke agrees, “All wealth is the product of labor” The laissez-faire economists believed that wealth should not be confined to one class. As articulated in France, therefore, the argument for laissez-faire economics was an argument that the ancient regime should be abolished and replaced with a more equal basis for society. Most literature was nonfiction, which means it was based on fact rather than being made up by the author 's imagination. Its aims were to instruct, to enlighten, and to make people think. Immanuel Kant, German philosopher, states “Two things inspire me to awe: the starry heavens above and the moral
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