How the Renaissance, Reformation, and Scientific Revolution Led to a More Secular and Democrtatic Society

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Social Revolutions Lead to Political Reform: How the Renaissance, Reformation, and Scientific Revolution Led to a more Secular and Democratic Political Atmosphere. Since the beginning of time cultural views have influenced and shaped our society but never has more change occurred than during the Renaissance, Reformation, and Scientific Revolution. We leave the middle ages a society of Kings and feudal life and emerge with the beginnings of modern political theory. The Renaissance was a defining moment in history where old became new and ideas on science, nature, and education flowed like a rushing river. The impact on authority was great and lasting in its effect to the world. Great men began to ask questions about …show more content…
The scientific revolution changed the world in one fell swoop. It challenged age-old beliefs with new views of the universe and countered faith with reason, Dogma with skepticism and divine intervention with natural law (Matthews, Platt, 413). The new methodology of collecting data, reasoning inductively (rather than deductively) to hypotheses, and verifying results with mathematics shaped modern science and thought (Scientific Revolution). With these new discoveries came new skepticism of all that was known to be true. Descartes cast so much doubt, in fact, that some became atheists after reading Discourse in which he argues that absolute truth is not possible. Pierre Bayle turned Europe on its ear with the Historical and Critical Dictionary, an encyclopedia of information from biblical heroes to contemporary scholars much of which challenged Christian beliefs. Of this time came John Locke and Thomas Hobbes each with a new political view. Hobbes believed in a social contract between the people and an absolute ruler. Locke however, believed that people could govern themselves and felt that people should be able to choose rulers who will protect their rights and govern fairly. If the rulers break the contract the people then have the right to overthrow that government. He believed in limited authority as well as checks and balances with a separation of powers (Matthews, Platt,

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