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  • Henry VIII And Anglicanism
    aunt of Charles v whose armies occupied Rome in 1527 she also exerted considerable pressure on the pope Despite these difficulties Henry could hope for success in his appeal to the pope Any conflict with Rome was in accord with national pride often expressed in traditional resentment against Roman domination Late medieval English kings had challenged the popes over Church appointments and revenues More than a century and a half before Luther an Oxford professor named John Wycliffe had denounced the false claims of popes and bishops In more recent times English Christian humanists such as Sir Thomas More had criticized the artificialities of Catholic worship Thus when the pope delayed making a decision Henry was relatively secure in his support at home The English Reformation And Reaction During the three years after 1531 when Catherine saw him for the last time Henry took control of affairs Lodging his daughter and his banished wife in separate castles he forbade them from seeing each other He also intimidated the clergy into proclaiming him head of the English Church as far as the law of Christ allows extracted from Parliament the authority to appoint bishops and designated his willing tool Thomas Cranmer 1489 1556 as Archbishop of Canterbury In 1533 Cranmer pronounced Henry s marriage to Catherine invalid at the same time legalizing the king s union with Ann Boleyn a lady of the court who was already carrying his unborn child Parliament also ended all payments of revenues to Rome Now having little choice the pope excommunicated Henry making the breach official on both sides Amid a marked anti Catholic campaign in the 1530s Henry secured the Anglican establishment which became an engine for furthering royal policies with the king s henchmen controlling every function from the building of chapels to the wording of the liturgy Former church revenues including more than 40 000 a year from religious fees alone poured into the royal treasury In 1539 Parliament completed its seizure of monastery lands selling some for revenue and dispensing others to secure the loyalties of crown supporters Meanwhile Catholics suffered Dispossessed nuns unlike monks and priests could find no place in the new church and were often reduced to despair One the famous holy maid of Kent who dared to rebuke the king publicly was executed as were other Catholic dissidents including the king s former chancellor Sir Thomas More and the saintly Bishop Fisher of Rochester Henry even forced his daughter Mary to accept him as head of the church and admit the illegality of her parents marriage The new English Church however brought little change in doctrine or ritual The Six Articles Parliament s declaration of the new creed and ceremonies in 1539 reaffirmed most Catholic theology except papal supremacy Henry in his later years after the execution of Anne in 1536 grew increasingly suspicious of popular Protestantism which was spreading into England and Scotland from the Continent He refused to legalize clerical marriage which caused great hardships

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  • England Under Mary
    a shower of stones and among them a dagger at one of the royal chaplains who attacked the reformed religion in a public sermon But the queen and her priests went steadily on Ridley the powerful bishop of the last reign was seized and sent to the Tower Latimer also celebrated among the clergy of the last reign was likewise sent to the Tower and Cranmer speedily followed Latimer was an aged man and as his guards took him through Smithfield he looked round it and said This is a place that hat hath long groaned for me For he knew well what kind of bonfires would soon be burning Nor was the knowledge confined to him The prisons were fast filled with the chief Protestants who were there left rotting in darkness hunger dirt and separation from their friends many who had time left them for escape fled from the kingdom and the dullest of the people began now to see what was coming It came on fast A parliament was got together not without strong suspicion of unfairness and they annulled the divorce formerly pronounced by Cranmer between the queen s mother and King Henry the Eighth and unmade all the laws on the subject of religion that had been made in the last King Edward s reign They began their proceedings in violation of the law by having the old mass said before them in Latin and by turning out a bishop who would not kneel down They also declared guilty of treason Lady Jane Grey for aspiring to the crown her husband for being her husband and Cranmer for not believing in the mass aforesaid They then prayed the queen graciously to choose a husband for herself as soon as might be Now the question who should be the queen s husband had given rise to a great deal of discussion and to several contending parties Some said Cardinal Pole was the man but the queen was of opinion that he was not the man he being too old and too much of a student Others said that the gallant young Courtenay whom the queen had made Earl of Devonshire was the man and the queen thought so too for a while but she changed her mind At last it appeared that Philip Prince of Spain was certainly the man though certainly not the people s man for they detested the idea of such a marriage from the beginning to the end and murmured that the Spaniard would establish in England by the aid of foreign soldiers the worst abuses of the popish religion and even the terrible Inquisition itself These discontents gave rise to a conspiracy for marrying young Courtenay to the Princess Elizabeth and setting them up with popular tumults all over the kingdom against the queen This was discovered in time by Gardiner but in Kent the old bold county the people rose in their old bold way Sir Thomas Wyat a man of great daring was their leader He raised his standard at Maidstone marched on to Rochester established himself in the old castle there and prepared to hold out against the Duke of Norfolk who came against him with a party of the queen s guards and a body of five hundred London men The London men however were all for Elizabeth and not at all for Mary They declared under the castle walls for Wyat the Duke retreated and Wyat came on to Deptford at the head of fifteen thousand men But these in their turn fell away When he came to Southwark there were only two thousand left Not dismayed by finding the London citizens in arms and the guns at the Tower ready to oppose his crossing the river there Wyat led them off to Kingston upon Thames intending to cross the bridge that he knew to be in that place and so to work his way round to Ludgate one of the old gates of the city He found the bridge broken down but mended it came across and bravely fought his way up Fleet Street to Ludgate Hill Finding the gate closed against him he fought his way back again sword in hand to Temple Bar Here being overpowered he surrendered himself and three or four hundred of his men were taken besides a hundred killed Wyat in a moment of weakness and perhaps of torture was afterwards made to accuse the Princess Elizabeth as his accomplice to some very small extent But his manhood soon returned to him and he refused to save his life by making any more false confessions He was quartered and distributed in the usual brutal way and from fifty to a hundred of his followers were hanged The rest were led out with halters round their necks to be pardoned and to make a parade of crying out God save Queen Mary In the danger of this rebellion the queen showed herself to be a woman of courage and spirit She disdained to retreat to any place of safety and went down to the Guildhall sceptre in hand and made a gallant speech to the Lord Mayor and citizens But on the day after Wyat s defeat she did the most cruel act even of her cruel reign in signing the death warrant for the execution of Lady Jane Grey They tried to persuade Lady Jane to accept the unreformed religion but she steadily refused On the morning when she was to die she saw from her window the bleeding and headless body of her husband brought back in a cart from the scaffold on Tower Hill where he had laid down his life But as she had declined to see him before his execution lest she should be overpowered and not make a good end so she even now showed a constancy and calmness that will never be forgotten She came up to the scaffold with a firm step and a quiet face and addressed the bystanders in a steady voice They were not numerous for she was too young too innocent and fair to be murdered before the people on Tower Hill as her husband had just been so the place of her execution was within the Tower itself She said that she had done an unlawful act in taking what was Queen Mary s right but that she had done so with no bad intent and that she died a humble Christian She begged the executioner to despatch her quickly and she asked him Will you take my head off before I lay me down He answered No madam and then she was very quiet while they bandaged her eyes Being blinded and unable to see the block on which she was to lay her young head she was seen to feel about for it with her hands and was heard to say confused O what shall I do Where is it Then they guided her to the right place and the executioner struck off her head You know to well now what dreadful deeds the executioner did in England through many many years and how his axe descended on the hateful block through the necks of some of the bravest wisest and best in the land But it never struck so cruel and so vile a blow as this The father of Lady Jane soon followed but was little pitied Queen Mary s next object was to lay hold of Elizabeth and this was pursued with great eagerness Five hundred men were sent to her retired house at Ashridge by Berkhampstead with orders to bring her up alive or dead They got there at ten at night when she was sick in bed But their leaders followed her lady into her bedchamber whence she was brought out betimes next morning and put into a litter to be conveyed to London She was so weak and ill that she was five days on the road still she was so resolved to be seen by the people that she had the curtains of the litter opened and so very pale and sickly passed through the streets She wrote to her sister saying she was innocent of any crime and asking why she was made a prisoner but she got no answer and was ordered to the Tower They took her in by the Traitor s Gate to which she objected but in vain One of the lords who conveyed her offered to cover her with his cloak as it was raining but she put it away from her proudly and scornfully and passed into the Tower and sat down in a courtyard on a stone They besought her to come in out of the wet but she answered that it was better sitting there than in a worse place At length she went to her apartment where she was kept a prisoner though not so close a prisoner as at Woodstock whither she was afterwards removed and where she is said to have one day envied a milkmaid whom she heard singing in the sunshine as she went through the green fields Gardiner than whom there were not many worse men among the fierce and sullen priests cared little to keep secret his stern desire for her death being used to say that it was of little service to shake off the leaves and lop the branches of the tree of heresy if its root the hope of heretics were left He failed however in his benevolent design Elizabeth was at length released and Hatfield House was assigned to her as a residence under the care of one Sir Thomas Pope It would seem that Philip the Prince of Spain was a main cause of this change in Elizabeth s fortunes He was not an amiable man being on the contrary proud overbearing and gloomy but he and the Spanish lords who came over with him assuredly did discountenance the idea of doing any violence to the princess It may have been mere prudence but we will hope it was manhood and honor The queen had been expecting her husband with great impatience and at length he came to her great joy though he never cared much for her They were married by Gardiner at Winchester and there was more holiday making among the people but they had their old distrust of this Spanish marriage in which even the Parliament shared Though the members of that parliament were far from honest and were strongly suspected to have been bought with Spanish money they would pass no bill to enable the queen to set aside the Princess Elizabeth and appoint her own successor Although Gardiner failed in this object as well as in the darker one of bringing the princess to the scaffold he went on at a great pace in the revival of the unreformed religion A new parliament was packed in which there were no Protestants Preparations were made to receive Cardinal Pole in England as the pope s messenger bringing his holy declaration that all the nobility who had acquired Church property should keep it which was done to enlist their selfish interest on the pope s side Then a great scene was enacted which was the triumph of the queen s plans Cardinal Pole arrived in great splendor and dignity and was received with great pomp The Parliament joined in a petition expressive of their sorrow at the change in the national religion and praying him to receive the country again into the Popish Church With the queen sitting on her throne and the king on one side of her and the cardinal on the other and the Parliament present Gardiner read the petition aloud The cardinal then made a great speech and was so obliging as to say that all was forgotten and forgiven and that the kingdom was solemnly made Roman Catholic again Everything was now ready for the lighting of the terrible bonfires The queen having declared to the council in writing that she would wish none of her subjects to be burnt without some of the council being present and that she would particularly wish there to be good sermons at all burnings the council knew pretty well what was to be done next So after the cardinal had blessed all the bishops as a preface to the burnings the Chancellor Gardiner opened a high court at St Mary Overy on the Southwark side of London Bridge for the trial of heretics Here two of the late Protestant clergymen Hooper Bishop of Gloucester and Rogers a prebendary of St Paul s were brought to be tried Hooper was tried first for being married though a priest and for not believing in the mass He admitted both of these accusations and said that the mass was a wicked imposition Then they tried Rogers who said the same Next morning the two were brought up to be sentenced and then Rogers said that his poor wife being a German woman and a stranger in the land he hoped might be allowed to come to speak to him before he died To this the inhuman Gardiner replied that she was not his wife Yea but she is my lord said Rogers she hath been my wife these eighteen years His request was still refused and they were both sent to Newgate all those who stood in the streets to sell things being ordered to put out their lights that the people might not see them But the people stood at their doors with candles in their hands and prayed for them as they went by Soon afterwards Rogers was taken out of jail to be burnt in Smithfield and in the crowd as he went along he saw his poor wife and his ten children of whom the youngest was a little baby And so he was burnt to death The next day Hooper who was to be burnt at Gloucester was brought out to take his last journey and was made to wear a hood over his face that he might not be known by the people But they did know him for all that down in his own part of the country and when he came near Gloucester they lined the road making prayers and lamentations His guards took him to a lodging where he slept soundly all night At nine o clock next morning he was brought forth leaning on a staff for he had taken cold in prison and was infirm The iron stake and the iron chain which was to bind him to it were fixed up near a great elm tree in a pleasant open place before the cathedral where on peaceful Sundays he had been accustomed to preach and to pray when he was Bishop of Gloucester This tree which had no leaves then it being February was filled with people and the priests of Gloucester College were looking complacently on from a window and there was a great concourse of spectators in every spot from which a glimpse of the dreadful sight could be beheld When the old man kneeled down on the small platform at the foot of the stake and prayed aloud the nearest people were observed to be so attentive to his prayers that they were ordered to stand farther back for it did not suit the Romish Church to have those Protestant words heard His prayers concluded he went up to the stake and was stripped to his shirt and chained ready for the fire One of his guards had such compassion on him that to shorten his agonies he tied some packets of gunpowder about him Then they heaped up wood and straw and reeds and set them all alight But unhappily the wood was green and damp and there was a wind blowing that blew what flame there was away Thus through three quarters of an hour the good old man was scorched and roasted and smoked as the fire rose and sank and all that time they saw him as he burned moving his lips in prayer and beating his breast with one hand even after the other was burnt away and had fallen off Cranmer Ridley and Latimer were taken to Oxford to dispute with a commission of priests and doctors about the mass They were shamefully treated and it is recorded that the Oxford scholars hissed and howled and groaned and misconducted themselves in anything but a scholarly way The prisoners were taken back to jail and afterwards tried in St Mary s Church They were all found guilty On the 16th of the month of October Ridley and Latimer were brought out to make another of the dreadful bonfires The scene of the suffering of these two good Protestant men was in the city ditch near Baliol College On coming to the dreadful spot they kissed the stakes and then embraced each other And then a learned doctor got up into a pulpit which was placed there and preached a sermon from the text Though I give my body to be burned and have not charity it profiteth me nothing When you think of the charity of burning men alive you may imagine that this learned doctor had a rather brazen face Ridley would have answered his sermon when it came to an end but was not allowed When Latimer was stripped it appeared that he had dressed himself under his other clothes in a new shroud and as he stood in it before all the people it was noted of him and long remembered that whereas he had been stooping and feeble but a few minutes before he now stood upright and handsome in the knowledge that he was dying for a just and a great cause Ridley s brother in law was there with

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  • England Under Harefoot
    had married the king s sister came to England on a visit After staying at the court some time he set forth with his numerous train of attendants to return home They were to embark at Dover Entering that peaceful town in armor they took possession of the best houses and noisily demanded to be lodged and entertained without payment One of the bold men of Dover who would not endure to have these domineering strangers jingling their heavy swords and iron corselets up and down his house eating his meat and drinking his strong liquor stood in his doorway and refused admission to the first armed man who came there The armed man drew and wounded him The man of Dover struck the armed man dead Intelligence of what he had done spreading through the streets to where the Count Eustace and his men were standing by their horses bridle in hand they passionately mounted galloped to the house surrounded it forced their way in the doors and windows being closed when they came up and killed the man of Dover at his own fireside They then clattered through the streets cutting down and riding over men women and children This did not last long you may believe The men of Dover set upon them with great fury killed nineteen of the foreigners wounded many more and blockading the road to the port so that they should not embark beat them out of the town by the way they had come Hereupon Count Eustace rides as hard as man can ride to Gloucester where Edward is surrounded by Norman monks and Norman lords Justice cries the count upon the men of Dover who have set upon and slain my people The king sends immediately for the powerful Earl Godwin who happens to be near reminds him that Dover is under his government and orders him to repair to Dover and do military execution on the inhabitants It does not become you says the proud earl in reply to condemn without a hearing those whom you have sworn to protect I will not do it The king therefore summoned the earl on pain of banishment and loss of his titles and property to appear before the court to answer this disobedience The earl refused to appear He his eldest son Harold and his second son Sweyn hastily raised as many fighting men as their utmost power could collect and demanded to have Count Eustace and his followers surrendered to the justice of the country The king in his turn refused to give them up and raised a strong force After some treaty and delay the troops of the great earl and his sons began to fall off The earl with a part of his family and abundance of treasure sailed to Flanders Harold escaped to Ireland and the power of the great family was for that time gone in England But the people did not forget them Then Edward the

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  • LOCKE, John (1632-1704)
    These ideas had a tremendous effect on all future political thinking The American Declaration of Independence clearly reflects Locke s teachings Locke was always very interested in psychology About 1670 friends urged him to write a paper on the limitations of human judgment He started to write a few paragraphs but 20 years passed before he finished The result was his great and famous Essay Concerning Human Understanding In this work he stressed the theory that the human mind starts as a tabula rasa smoothed tablet that is a waxed tablet ready to be used for writing The mind has no inborn ideas as most men of the time believed Throughout life it forms its ideas only from impressions sense experiences that are made upon its surface In discussing education Locke urged the view that character formation is far more important than information and that learning should be pleasant During his later years he turned more and more to writing about religion The principal works by Locke are letters On Toleration 1689 1690 1692 An Essay Concerning Human Understanding 1690 two treatises On Civil Government 1690 and Some Thoughts Concerning Education 1693 and The Reasonableness of Christianity 1695 He died in Oates Essex on Oct 28 1704 Locke It was John Locke politically the most influential English philosopher who further developed this doctrine His Two Treatises of Government 1690 were written to justify the Glorious Revolution of 1688 89 and his Letter Concerning Toleration 1689 was written with a plain and easy urbanity in contrast to the baroque eloquence of Hobbes Locke was a scholar physician and man of affairs well experienced in politics and business As a philosopher he accepted strict limitations for mind and his political philosophy is moderate and sensible aimed at a balance among executive judicial and legislative powers although with a bias toward the last His first Treatise was devoted to confuting the Royalist doctrine of patriarchal divine right by descent from Adam an argument then taken very seriously and reflecting the idea of government as an aspect of a divinely ordained chain of being If this order were broken chaos would come about The argument was part of the contemporary conflict of the ancients and the moderns Locke tried to provide an answer by defining a limited purpose for political power which purpose he considered to be a right of making laws with penalties of death and consequently all less penalties for the regulating and preserving of property and of employing the force of the community in execution of such laws and in the defense of the commonwealth from foreign injury and all this only for the public good The authority of government derives from a contract between the rulers and the people and the contract binds both parties It is thus a limited power proceeding according to established laws and directed to no other end but the peace safety and public good of the people Whatever its form government to be legitimate must

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  • DIDEROT, Denis (1713-84)
    turning it into an important organ of radical and revolutionary opinion He gathered around him a team of dedicated litterateurs scientists and even priests many of who as yet unknown were to make their mark in later life All were fired with a common purpose to further knowledge and by so doing strike a resounding blow against reactionary forces in church and state As a dictionnaire raisonné rational dictionary the Encyclopédie was to bring out the essential principles and applications of every art and science The underlying philosophy was rationalism and a qualified faith in the progress of the human mind In 1749 Diderot published the Lettre sur les aveugles An Essay on Blindness remarkable for its proposal to teach the blind to read through the sense of touch along lines that Louis Braille was to follow in the 19th century and for the presentation of the first step in his evolutionary theory of survival by superior adaptation This daring exposition of the doctrine of materialist atheism with its emphasis on human dependence on sense impression led to Diderot s arrest and incarceration in the prison of Vincennes for three months Diderot s work on the Encyclopédie however was not interrupted for long and in 1750 he outlined his program for it in a Prospectus which d Alembert expanded into the momentous Discours préliminaire 1751 The history of the Encyclopédie from the publication of the first volume in 1751 to the distribution of the final volumes of plates in 1772 was checkered but ultimate success was never in doubt Diderot was undaunted by the government s censorship of the work and by the criticism of conservatives and reactionaries A critical moment occurred in 1758 on the publication of the seventh volume when d Alembert resigned on receiving warning of trouble and after reading Rousseau s attack on his article Genève Another serious blow came when the philosopher Helvétius book De l esprit On the Mind said to be a summary of the Encyclopédie was condemned to be burned by the Parliament of Paris and the Encyclopédie itself was formally suppressed Untempted by Voltaire s offer to have the publication continued outside France Diderot held on in Paris with great tenacity and published the Encyclopédie s later volumes surreptitiously He was deeply wounded however by the discovery in 1764 that Le Breton had secretly removed compromising material from the corrected proof sheets of about 10 folio volumes The censored passages though of considerable interest would not have made an appreciable difference on the impact of the work To the 17 volumes of text and 11 volumes of plates 1751 72 Diderot contributed innumerable articles partly original partly derived from varied sources especially on the history of philosophy Eclectisme Eclecticism social theory Droit naturel Natural Law aesthetics Beau The Beautiful and the crafts and industries of France He was moreover an energetic general director and supervised the illustrations for 3 000 to 4 000 plates of exceptional quality which are still prized

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  • VOLTAIRE (1694-1778)
    up an enormous correspondence with the Philosophes with his actresses and actors and with those high in court circles such as the Duc de Richelieu grandnephew of the Cardinal de Richelieu the Duc de Choiseul and Mme du Barry Louis XV s favorite He renewed his correspondence with Frederick II and exchanged letters with Catherine II of Russia There was scarcely a subject of importance on which he did not speak In his political ideas he was basically a liberal though he also admired the authority of those kings who imposed progressive measures on their people On the question of fossils he entered into foolhardy controversy with the famous French naturalist Comte de Buffon On the other hand he declared himself a partisan of the Italian scientist Abbé Lazzaro Spallanzani against the hypothesis of spontaneous generation according to which microscopic organisms are generated spontaneously in organic substances He busied himself with political economy and revived his interest in metaphysics by absorbing the ideas of 17th century philosophers Benedict de Spinoza and Nicolas Malebranche His main interest at this time however was his opposition to l infâme a word he used to designate the church especially when it was identified with intolerance For mankind s future he envisaged a simple theism reinforcing the civil power of the state He believed this end was being achieved when about 1770 the courts of Paris Vienna and Madrid came into conflict with the pope but this was to misjudge the solidarity of ecclesiastical institutions and the people s loyalty to the traditional faith Voltaire s beliefs prompted a prodigious number of polemical writings He multiplied his personal attacks often stooping to low cunning in his sentimental comedy L Écossaise 1760 he mimicked the eminent critic Élie Fréron who had attacked him in reviews by portraying his adversary as a rascally journalist who intervenes in a quarrel between two Scottish families He directed Le Sentiment des Citoyens 1764 against Rousseau In this anonymous pamphlet which supposedly expressed the opinion of the Genevese Voltaire who was well informed revealed to the public that Rousseau had abandoned his children As author he used all kinds of pseudonyms Rabbi Akib Pastor Bourn Lord Bolingbroke M Mamaki interpreter of Oriental languages to the king of England Clocpitre Cubstorf Jean Plokof a nonstop performance of puppets As a part time scholar he constructed a personal Encyclopédie the Dictionnaire philosophique 1764 enlarged after 1770 by Questions sur l Encyclopédie Among the mass of writings of this period are Le Blanc et le noir The White and the Black a philosophical tale in which Oriental fantasy contrasts with the realism of Jeannot et Colin Princesse de Babylone a panorama of European philosophies in the fairyland of The Thousand and One Nights and Le Taureau blanc a biblical tale Again and again Voltaire returned to his chosen themes the establishment of religious tolerance the growth of material prosperity respect for the rights of man by the abolition of torture and useless punishments These

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  • ROUSSEAU, Jean-Jacques (1712-78)
    living as a family and associating with neighbors This nascent society as Rousseau calls it was good while it lasted it was indeed the golden age of human history Only it did not endure With the tender passion of love there was also born the destructive passion of jealousy Neighbors started to compare their abilities and achievements with one another and this marked the first step towards inequality and at the same time towards vice Men started to demand consideration and respect their innocent self love turned into culpable pride as each man wanted to be better than everyone else The introduction of property marked a further step toward inequality since it made it necessary for men to institute law and government in order to protect property Rousseau laments the fatal concept of property in one of his more eloquent passages describing the horrors that have resulted from men s departure from a condition in which the earth belonged to no one These passages in his second Discourse excited later revolutionaries such as Marx and Lenin but Rousseau himself did not think that the past could be undone in any way there was no point in men dreaming of a return to the golden age Civil society as Rousseau describes it comes into being to serve two purposes to provide peace for everyone and to ensure the right to property for anyone lucky enough to have possessions It is thus of some advantage to everyone but mostly to the advantage of the rich since it transforms their de facto ownership into rightful ownership and keeps the poor dispossessed It is a somewhat fraudulent social contract that introduces government since the poor get so much less out of it than do the rich Even so the rich are no happier in civil society than are the poor because social man is never satisfied Society leads men to hate one another to the extent that their interests conflict and the best they are able to do is to hide their hostility behind a mask of courtesy Thus Rousseau regards the inequality between men not as a separate problem but as one of the features of the long process by which men become alienated from nature and from innocence In the dedication Rousseau wrote for the Discourse in order to present it to the republic of Geneva he nevertheless praises that city state for having achieved the ideal balance between the equality which nature established among men and the inequality which they have instituted among themselves The arrangement he discerned in Geneva was one in which the best men were chosen by the citizens and put in the highest positions of authority Like Plato Rousseau always believed that a just society was one in which everyone was in his right place And having written the Discourse to explain how men had lost their liberty in the past he went on to write another book Du Contrat social 1762 The Social Contract to suggest

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  • The Enlightenment throughout Europe
    an idiosyncratic effect as in the Margrave Charles Frederick of Baden s unsuccessful attempt in 1770 to introduce a land tax the impôt unique advocated by the physiocrats or in Pombal s campaign to expel the Jesuits copied supinely by other Catholic rulers Overall it may seem as easy to define the Enlightenment by what it opposed as by what it advocated Along with some superficiality in thought and cynical expediency in action this is the basis for conservative criticism When reason is little more than common sense and utilitarianism so infects attitudes that progress can be measured only by material standards then Edmund Burke s lament about the age of sophisters economists and calculators is held to be justified Some historians have followed Burke in ascribing not only Jacobin authoritarianism but even 20th century totalitarianism to tendencies within the Enlightenment Indeed it may be that the movement that helped to free man from the past and its self incurred tutelage Kant failed to prevent the development of new systems and techniques of tyranny This intellectual odyssey following Shaftesbury s mighty light which spreads itself over the world should however be seen to be related to the growth of the state the advance of science and the subsequent development of an industrial society For their ill effects the Enlightenment cannot be held to be mainly responsible Rather it should be viewed as an integral part of a broader historical process In this light it is easier to appraise the achievements that are its singular glory To be challenged to think harder with greater chance of discovering truth to be able to write speak and worship freely and to experience equality under the law and relatively humane treatment if one offended against it was to be able to live a fuller life The Enlightenment its ideas players and legacy The Enlightenment was a European intellectual movement of the 17th and 18th centuries in which ideas concerning God reason nature and man were synthesized into a worldview that gained wide assent and that instigated revolutionary developments in art philosophy and politics Central to Enlightenment thought were the use and the celebration of reason the power by which man understands the universe and improves his own condition The goals of rational man were considered to be knowledge freedom and happiness The powers and uses of reason had first been explored by the philosophers of ancient Greece who discerned in the ordered regularity of nature the workings of an intelligent mind Rome adopted and preserved much of Greek culture notably including the ideas of a rational natural order and natural law Amid the turmoil of empire however a new concern arose for personal salvation and the way was paved for the triumph of the Christian religion Christian thinkers gradually found uses for their Greco Roman heritage The system of thought known as scholasticism culminating in the work of Thomas Aquinas resurrected reason as a tool of understanding but subordinated it to spiritual revelation and

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