The Spread of Enlightenment Ideas a world of Ideas



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The Spread of Enlightenment Ideas

A World of Ideas

  • Ideas were often spread in salons
  • Salons = large drawing rooms where women entertained philosophers, writers, artists, and intellects met to discuss ideas and enjoy artistic performances
  • Marie-
  • Therese Geoffrin
  • Most influential
  • Salon hostess

Other ways Ideas spread -

  • Diderot’s Encyclopedia – first book where leading scholars of Europe put articles and essays
  • Encyclopedia annoyed the Catholic Church – the Church found Enlightenment ideas corrupt and immoral
  • Ideas also spread through music, newspapers, and pamphlets

Emergence of middle class helps ideas spread -

  • There is Denis Diderot, working on his scandalous encyclopedia -
  • New middle class has more time to read and appreciate art

Art and Literature in the Age of Reason

  • Baroque = grand and ornate style that preceded the Enlightenment
  • Two famous Baroque musicians = Bach and Handel
  • Eventually leads to classical music with famous composers like Mozart, Hadyn and Beethoven
  • New style – more elegant and original

Art and Culture during the Enlightenment -

  • Mozart started composing when he was five!
  • Birth of modern novel; complex and carefully crafted plots. Daniel Defoe wrote Robinson Crusoe about a family stranded on a desert island
  • Below is Defoe’s quote – what do YOU think it means?
  • Wherever God erects a house of prayer the Devil always builds a chapel there; And 'twill be found, upon examination, the latter has the largest congregation
    • Daniel Defoe

Enlightenment and the Monarchy

  • Enlightened despots = monarchs who embraced the Enlightenment and allowed reform
  • Wanted ONLY to strengthen own countries, did NOT want to give up power

Enlightened Monarchs

  • Reforms included:
    • Allowing more religious freedom
    • Improving education
    • Reduced censorship
    • Reformed the criminal justice system and eliminated torture
    • Called himself “The First Servant of the State” – main goal was to serve and strengthen the state

Joseph II of Austria

  • 1780 – 1790
  • Introduced legal reforms and freedom of the press
  • Religious tolerance – even for Jews and Protestants!
  • Got rid of serfdom and insisted that peasants get $

Catherine the Great

  • She had a horrible marriage and eventually had her husband (Joseph III, the czar of Russia) killed in order to take over the country
  • Ruled Russia from 1762 - 1796

Catherine the Great cont.

  • Ruled Russia with absolute authority, but also modernized and reformed the country
  • Influenced by Beccaria, Montesquieu and Voltaire
  • Never helped the Russian peasants and eventually gave the nobles absolute authority over their serfs
  • Also expanded Russia – fought for years for access to the Baltic Sea and the navigation routes in the Black and Mediterranean seas. Also took over much of Poland.
  • Catherine enlarged Russia and Russia soon became and international power.

More Catherine…

  • “I like to praise and reward loudly, to blame quietly.”
  • “It is better to be subject to the Laws under one Master, than to be subservient to many.”
  • “What is the true End of Monarchy? Not to deprive People of their natural Liberty; but to correct their Actions, in order to attain the supreme Good.
        • Catherine the Great


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