The French Revolution And The Enlightenment

1601 Words Oct 27th, 2015 7 Pages
The Enlightenment was an extensive intellectual, philosophical, and cultural movement that spread throughout Europe, predominantly England, France and Germany during the 18th century. The Scientific Revolution, which began in the 16th century, gave way to a new and revolutionary way of thinking. It encouraged independent thought, the capacity to ask questions, and a progressive attitude. Additionally, the enlightenment arose during a time when there was absolute monarchy and an extremely powerful church. Political, philosophical, cultural, and religious ideas were in the need of reform. The French Revolution was arguably an effect of the growing ideas of the enlightenment. People within France finally had enough of absolute monarchy and wanted reform. Philosophers and thinkers were crucial to the progress of the enlightenment. Thinkers such as Immanuel Kant, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, John Locke, and Adam Smith were prominent figures of the enlightenment. They questioned religion, promoted secularism, and freedom. Most believed that the government was to be an extension of the people and should not be totalitarian. Locke and Rousseau were focused on protecting the people’s rights. Adam Smith focused on the economic aspects and promoted a free economy without restrictions from the all powerful monarchy. He is the founder of modern economics. Immanuel Kant focused on the problem with government and how the absolute monarchy had been detrimental to the people. He argued that the…
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