The Age Of Reason And The Enlightenment
The Age of Reason and Enlightenment started off in the eighteenth century. This period has its root in France, thus giving it an alternate name of French Enlightenment. Even though this Age is said to have been started in the 1700s, the causes behind it started as long as two to three centuries before it. The dictatorship of the Church was the key reason behind the rebellion of the people, giving rise to the Age of Reason and Enlightenment.
Prior to the Enlightenment, the Church proclaimed itself as the supreme power and compelled people to follow whatever they preached without questioning them. They also prevented any sort of progressive behavior like researching and inventing anything. The Church also forced everyone to follow only the religion taught by them and the God worshipped by them. If anyone was caught disobeying the Church, he was punished severely.
All these led to a general discontentment of the people. It was then that Rene Descartes sowed the seed of Reason in people’s minds. His philosophies professed that every happening in the world is backed by a logic and reason and there was nothing called “miracle” Thus with the leadership of the likes of Voltaire, Montesquieu, Diderot and Rousseau, the Age of Reason came into the picture. These men openly began to question their faith and religion, rebelling against the Church in the process. People, under their tutelage, began to form a society of independent and free minded men with new thoughts and ideas.
The Age of Reason basically freed the men from the feeling of guilt that the Church so vehemently planted in their minds about the ideas of innovation and progress. People began to feel free to express new ideas and concepts and start new projects. This helped in shaping the future of the world; the world we live in today.
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