The Enlightenment Dbq Analysis

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Emerging from the ashes of The War of Austrian Succession and the Seven Years War, the people of Europe wanted more from life then they possessed. They wanted the rights, liberties, and freedoms that the absolute monarchs of their states held captive. Looking at Great Britain as a model for a successful government without an absolute monarch, peasants, serfs, and the bourgeoisie wanted power to be in their own hands. The growing sentiment was proclaimed by philosophes such as John Locke, Baron de Montesquieu, Voltaire, and Jean Jacques Rosseau. The monarchs listened, hearing the cries of their people. But did they change at all? In the 18th century, the Enlightenment philosophy swayed the opinions of many people throughout Europe; however, rulers were not ready to radically change their countries and relinquish some of their power. Philosophes cannot be faulted for not voicing their opinion, with Montesquieu and Rousseau at the forefront. In the Age of Enlightenment, intellectuals gathered and shared their ideas about how government should work. Through the printing press, these ideas spread rapidly across Europe and reached the very doorstep of every absolute monarch. One such writer, Baron de Montesquieu, argued for the separation of power in the government within document 1. His theory compounded on the idea that one man could not hold all the …show more content…
Enlightened ideas spread through the lower class and eventually spread to the upper class as well. Although rulers were influenced by the ideas of the enlightenment, the philosophy did not completely take over the style of ruling in Europe. Rulers were not ready to lose their power and their people were not all ready to radical change society. Before the French revolution, the world had trouble experiencing such a radical change. Without a guideline and example for change, the people of Europe were resistant to

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