The Enlightenment (Greenwood Guides to Historic Events, 1500-1900)

The Enlightenment (Greenwood Guides to Historic Events, 1500-1900)

by Ronald S. Love

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One of the few self-named historical movements, the Enlightenment in 18th-century Europe was a powerful intellectual reaction to the dominance of absolutist monarchies and religious authorities. Building upon the discoveries of the Scientific Revolution, Enlightenment thinkers—philosophes—set out to improve humanity through reason, knowledge, and experience of the natural world rather than religious doctrine or moral absolutes. Their emphasis on truth through observable phenomena set the standard of thought for the modern age, deeply influencing the areas of government, the modern state, science, technology, religious tolerance and social structure. The Enlightenment's legacy is particularly visible in the United States, where its ideals inspired a revolution and served as the building blocks for the Declaration of Independence and the American Constitution. Narrative chapters, photos, biographical sketches, primary document excerpts, and an extensive bibliography expand the readers' understanding of the event, providing a current perspective on this key turning point in Western ideology.

Comprehensive narrative chapters explore the historical background of the movement, as well as its relationship to nature and natural philosophy, religious belief and church institutions, society and the state, and the French Revolution. Photos, biographical sketches of key figures, excerpts from important primary documents of the time, and an extensive bibliography expand the reader's understanding of the movement that ushered in the modern era.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780313342448
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/30/2008
Series: Greenwood Guides to Historic Events 1500-1900 Series
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Ronald S. Love was Associate Professor of History at the University of West Georgia, Carrollton, GA. His many published works include Maritime Exploration in the Age of Discovery, 1415-1800 (Greenwood 2006) and co-editor of Distant Lands and Diverse Cultures: The French Experience in Asia, 1600-1700 (Praeger 2002).

Table of Contents

Series Foreward by Linda S. Frey and Marsha L. Frey



Chronology of Events

Chapter I Historical Overview: Preliminaries, Principles

and Preconceptions

Chapter II Science and the Triumph of Reason: Newton,

Locke and a New Philosophy

Chapter III The Philosophes, the Church and Christianity

Chapter IV The Philosophes, Political Thought and Enlightened Despotism

Chapter V The Alternative Vision of Montesquieu and Rousseau

Biographies: Personalities of the Enlightenment

Primary Documents Relating to the Enlightenment

Glossary of Selected Terms

Annotated Bibliography

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