History[ edit ] Enlightened absolutism is the theme of an essay by Frederick the Greatwho ruled Prussia from todefending this system of government. He believed that an enlightened monarchy was the only real way for society to advance. Frederick was an enthusiast of French ideas. The monarchs of enlightened absolutism strengthened their authority by improving the lives of their subjects.
Writers like John Locke imagined the foundations of classical liberal thought in government and society. In his Second Treatise of Civil Government, Locke expounds on the basic tenets of liberalism such as individual freedom,  legal equality under the law, and private property.
Discussions between philosophers in French salons and in British coffeehouses created a community now regarded to as the " public sphere.
This tradition of the public sphere, or the " marketplace of ideas " is an underlying institution in Western democratic theory.
Constitutionalism competed with absolutism as a source of central, government power beginning the 17th century. Inconstitutionalism was codified in England during the ascension of William and Mary to the throne.
An English Bill of Rights was also adopted. The French Revolution of replaced the absolutist tradition of the French Monarchy. American independence established a constitution originally the Articles of Confederation and later the Constitution of and articles like the Declaration of Independence echoed themes of social contract theory.
The Enlightened revolutions The Enlightenment, its writers, and its ideas are considered to have had influenced both the American and French revolutions in the late 18th century.
These revolutions were unlike their predecessors. Both countries shed their ruling monarchies in favor of republican system.
Both countries established Constitutions, recognized equality under the law, and recognized a number of liberties afforded to all individuals.
These Enlightened revolutions are thought to have changed the definition of revolution because of means and goals of both the American and French peoples. The American Revolution began over general discontent of British economic and military policy in the new world. This means nothing less than that he will be forced to be free.
There were many dissenters who only joined the revolutionary cause to lower taxes and were unhappy with radical social reform.
The ascension of Napoleon to power marked a restoration of order and a more conservative movement. Leaders Intellectually the Enlightenment was identified with the French " philosophes " who aggressively spread the new gospel of reason. Despite heading absolutist rather than constitutional governments, these rulers are considered enlightened because of policies and laws enacted during their rule.
For example, during his rule Joseph II abolished hereditary servitude serfdom and enacted the Edict of Toleration that extended civil rights to non-Catholics and Jews.
America For a more detailed treatment, see American Enlightenment. Others, such as the Rev. Jonathan Edwards and Rev.“Enlightenment,” like “humanism” or “romanticism,” is a big general term through which we try to build up a mental construct out of a very great number of facts.
The Enlightenment, or the Age of Reason, was an intellectual and cultural movement in the eighteenth century that emphasized reason over superstition and science over blind faith. Using the power of the press, Enlightenment thinkers like John Locke, Isaac Newton, and Voltaire questioned accepted knowledge and spread new ideas about openness.
The Enlightenment (also known as the Age of Enlightenment or the Age of Reason) was an intellectual and philosophical movement that dominated the world of ideas in Europe during the 18th century, the "Century of Philosophy".
Enlightenment, French siècle des Lumières (literally “century of the Enlightened”), German Aufklärung, a European intellectual movement of the 17th and 18th centuries in which ideas concerning God, reason, nature, and humanity were synthesized into a worldview that gained wide assent in the West and that instigated revolutionary developments in art, philosophy, and politics.
American Philosophy. The term “American Philosophy,” perhaps surprisingly, has been somewhat vague. While it has tended to primarily include philosophical work done by Americans within the geographical confines of the United States, this has not been exclusively the case.
The Enlightenment was an 18th century movement in European and American thought that emphasized the power of reason and science, rather than traditional doctrine, to understand and reform the world.
Some historians also include 17th century philosophy, usually called the Age of Reason.