Essay on The Enlightenment And The French Revolution

1222 Words May 3rd, 2015 5 Pages
The Enlightenment was a time in European history when many people started to think about the way they were being ruled. Enlightenment thinkers emphasized the idea of personal freedom and challenging the monarchy. Enlightenments thinkers and writes pushed for democracy and the recognition of “natural rights.” As more and more people adopted the mindset of the Enlightenment, they realized that the way they were being treated by the government was oppressive. This led to many tensions and conflicts, which eventually led to the French Revolution. The Enlightenment heavily influenced the French Revolution; particularly the social, political, religious, and intellectual ideas the Enlightenment brought into view. The Enlightenment shed light on the religious issues that contributed to the French revolution. In his Philosophical Dictionary: The English Model, Voltaire discusses “natural rights” – freedoms that everyone should have without question or argument. Specifically, he mentions that all men should be able to practice any religion they choose without being persecuted. Up until the revolution, many monarchies required everyone to be a part of the same church as the king, no matter what. This created a lot of tension and caused a general negative attitude towards the government. The Enlightenment also sparked many new intellectual ideas. In Immanuel Kant’s What is the Enlightenment, he explains that the Enlightenment is a reformation of the state of mind. But since most…

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