Enlightment was a sprawling intellectual, philosophical, cultural, and social movement that spread through england, france, germany, and other parts of europe during the 1700s.
- enabled by the scientific revolution, which had begun as early as 1500, the enlightenment represented about as big of a departure as possible from the middle ages.
- enlightenment, however, opened a path for independent thought, and the fields of mathematics, astronomy, physics, politics, economics, philosophy, and medicine were drastically updated and expanded. the amount of new knowledge that emerged was staggering. just as important was the enthusiasm with which people approached the enlightenment:
- - intellectual salons popped up in france, philosophical discussions were held, and the increasingly literate population read books and passed them around feverishly. the enlightenment and all of the new knowledge thus permeated nearly every facet of civilized life.
- the advancements of the enlightenment transformed the western world into an intelligent and self-aware civilization. moreover, it directly inspired the creation of the worlds first great democracy, the united states of america
- the effects of enlightenment thought soon permeated both european and american life, from improved womens rights to more efficient steam engines, from fairer judicial systems to increased educational opportunities, from revolutionary economic theories to a rich array of literature and music.
- yet it is not simply the knowledge attained during the enlightenment that makes the era so pivotalits also the eras groundbreaking and tenacious new approaches to investigation, reasoning, and problem solving that make it so important.