Enlightenment Era Dbq

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The Enlightenment was a movement that spread all throughout Europe during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It emphasized individualism and reason instead of tradition and absolutism. Historically speaking , "Enlightenment" refers to the change in normal European ways of thinking and old ideas. It was rooted in several fields, including ideas on religion, science, and truth and reason. The Enlightenment Era was a revolutionary age that abolished old ideas while introducing new ways of thinking, that has continuous effects to even today.
There was a reason people felt a change needed to happen. Rulers believed in absolutism, which was their God-given right to have absolute control and power over their monarchy. Absolute rulers ' goals
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This proves how unreasonable rulers did not actually care about the citizens, as shown by Louis XIV spending money building a luxurious palace, while many people of his country were dying from starvation. In addition, Machiavelli, who agreed with absolutist ideas, stated in his book, The Prince, "It is necessary for him who lays out a state and arranges laws for it to presuppose that all men are evil and that they are always going to act according to the wickedness of their spirits wherever they have free scope" (Machiavelli Doc I). The traditional belief for the rulers was that until proven otherwise, all men are evil. Rulers would treat people poorly and unjustly because of this belief. Also preceding the Enlightenment was the Scientific …show more content…
For example, separation of powers and the three branch government system we have in place today in the United States was an idea from Montesquieu. Also, principles of the Enlightenment are heavily used in the U.S. Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence. Written in the Declaration of the Rights if Man and of Citizen, "II. The end of the political associations, is, the preservation of the natural and imprescriptible rights of man; and these rights are liberty, property, security, and resistance of oppression." (Doc XII). We have heard words similar to these in the Declaration of Independence, "certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness" (US 1776). We can see many similarities when comparing the thoughts of the Enlightenment to todays government, due to the influence of the Enlightenment on the U.S. thinkers. More closely, the effects of the Enlightenment included better education, advancements in science and mathematics, questions of religion beliefs, abolishment of slavery, ending absolutism and nobility privileges, and leading up to the American and French Revolutions. The words of the national song, Ça Ira!, offer insight on the effects: "We 'll string up the aristocrats!/ Despotism will die,/ Liberty will triumph/ "We will win, we will win, we will win,"/ And we will no longer have nobles or priests/ "We will win, we will win,

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