The Enlightenment In The 1800's Analysis

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1650 through the 1800 's was a time when educated westerners began to look to science and reason instead of religion for the improvement of humankind. This era is referred to as the Enlightenment. Beginning in the 1800 's many began to reject some of the major ideas that the Enlightenment entailed. Such as the idea of the individual, private property, human rights, human equality, and the idea of progress. With this came the "age of uncertainty" which reached it 's first high point with the outbreak of World War I, and then with the development of the Communist Revolution in Russia. The First World War and the Communist Revolution both greatly jolted Western society and culture, as well as challenged and rejected some of the inherited ideas …show more content…
It was an era based on science and rational inquiry. Whereas, beforehand everything revolved around religion and the principles of religious faith. The Enlightenment raised reason to the status of religion. The idea that all men are created equal emerged, as well as the idea of basic human rights emerged. It was truly a turning point in Western history for it, " … provided the foundations for modern society and for a variety of disciplines that applied reason to social, economic, and political life" (Fiero, 2013). The Enlightenment played an important role in establishing the western world. However, beginning in the 1800 's an "age of anxiety" or an "age of uncertainty" began to set in. In contrast to the Enlightenment this was a time that questioned science. Heisenberg 's uncertainty principle questions "objectivity", and Einstein 's theory of relativity shows that time is not constant. People were beginning to realize that we live in a chaotic and uncertain …show more content…
There started to be a growing disrespect for human rights, and the idea of progress was undercut. When Congress passed the Federal Espionage act in 1917, "… all false statements intending to interfere with the military forces of the country or to promote the success of its enemies" were prohibited. (Constitutional Rights Foundation, p.1). Penalties were put in place for anyone who attempted to hold up the recruitment of soldiers into the military. (Constitutional Rights Foundation, 2016). Then another law was passed in 1918 that forbid, "… any statements expressing disrespect for the U.S. government, the Constitution, the flag, or army and navy uniforms" (Constitutional Rights Foundation, p.1). The government attempted to silence opposition, and the Enlightenment idea of freedom of speech and freedom of press was taken away. Once those rights are taken away it is extremely difficult to get them back. As previously mentioned, the Enlightenment focused on the idea of equality, and the thought that all men are created equal. No one has more or less rights than the other. However, that was not the case in World War I. The war mobilized all of society for the war effort. Those who were not able to contribute, such as the elderly and the institutionalized got less than those who were considered productive members of

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