Age Of Enlightenment In Scotland

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Modern or sociological thinking first appeared in the mid 1600’s to mid-1700. The age of enlightenment refers to the period during which an intellectual movement spread throughout most of the western world. Previously society was dominated by religious doctrine and superstition. The feudal system and divine right to rule was largely unquestioned in society. Rene Descartes published Meditations in 1641 and introduced the "Method of Doubt" in which the concept of God was finally met with scepticism. Descartes along with other influential figures such as, John Locke, Voltaire, Thomas Hobbes, Jean Jacques Rousseau and Baron de Montesquieu paved the way for a more logical interpretation of society. This process of demystification led to the gradual …show more content…
However, despite the new open minded climate and more readily accessible education system, life continued as normal for the majority of Scots. Middle class men could take advantage of the lower university fees and the English taught classes, following the abolition of Latin taught classes, however with the exception of the few females that John Anderson admitted to lectures, education was exclusively delivered by men to men. Women would still not be admitted to University of Glasgow until the close of the 19th Century, at which point the men and women of the working class were still unable to afford fees. The large wealth gap in Scotland could arguably have been part of the impact of the enlightenment, were education became readily accessible to the middle classes centuries prior to the lower classes. The enlightenment did not change the lives of the lower classes, in fact it can be argued that the enlightenment was a period characterised by wealthy men theorising ways in which wealth could be increased, and this had little or no impact on the lives of the ordinary citizen. The key figures of the enlightenment were all men, the age of enlightenment was politically infertile, it did not result in an increase of democracy, and suffrage was not extended to women for 200 years later. Industrialisation can be viewed as the implementation of many of the ideas and inventions of the enlightenment, industrialisation perpetuated and increased inequality, the rich got richer and the poor get poorer. By the 19th Century Glasgow University was surrounded by slums. This can be viewed as an indirect effect of the enlightenment on

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