John Locke-The Enlightenment Era

By a.noble
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    Thirty Years' War.

    On the surface, the most apparent cause of the Enlightenment was the Thirty Years’ War. This horribly destructive war, which lasted from 1618 to 1648, compelled German writers to pen harsh criticisms regarding the ideas of nationalism and warfare. These authors, such as Hugo Grotius and John Comenius, were some of the first Enlightenment minds to go against tradition and propose better solutions.
  • Locke becomes Lord Ashley's personal physician, shaping his views.

    In 1666 Locke had a fateful meeting with Lord Ashley as a result of his friendship with Thomas. Ashley, one of the richest men in England, came to Oxford. As a result of this encounter, Ashley invited Locke to come to London as his personal physician. In 1667 Locke did move to London becoming not only Lord Ashley's personal physician, but secretary, researcher, political operative and friend. Living with him Locke found himself at the very heart of English politics in the 1670s and 1680s.
  • Locke is exiled to Holland, where he writes may of his works.

    Locke stayed in England until the Rye House Plot (named after the house from which the plotters were to fire upon the King and his brother) was discovered in June of 1683. Locke left for the West country to put his affairs in order the very week the plot was revealed to the government and by September he was in exile in Holland. While in exile Locke finished An Essay Concerning Human Understanding and published a fifty page advanced notice of it in French.
  • Locke publishes A letter Concerning Toleration.

    Locke's work appeared amidst a fear that Catholicism might be taking over England, and responds to the problem of religion and government by proposing religious toleration as the answer. This "letter" is addressed to an anonymous "Honored Sir": this was actually Locke's close friend Philipp van Limborch, who published it without Locke's knowledge.
  • Locke's greatest literary work is published

    Some philosophers before Locke had suggested that it would be good to find the limits of the Understanding, but what Locke does is to carry out this project in detail. In the four books of the Essay Locke considers the sources and nature of human knowledge. Locke published Two treatises of Government at the same time.
  • Lock publishes The reasonableness of Christianity.

    In 1695, Locke published "The Reasonableness of Christianity", as well as the two vindications - "A Vindication of the Reasonableness of Christianity" during the same year, and a second "Vindication of the Reasonableness of Christianity" in 1697 to defend what he considered to be traditional Christianity.
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    Age of Enlightenment era timespan

    There is little consensus on the precise beginning of the age of Enlightenment; the beginning of the 18th century (1701) or the middle of the 17th century (1650) are often used as an approximate starting point. As to its end, most scholars use the last years of the century – often choosing the French Revolution of 1789 or the beginning of the Napoleonic Wars (1804 – 15) as a convenient point in time with which to date the end of the Enlightenment.
  • Montesquieu publishes The Persian Letters.

    Montesquieu publishes The Persian Letters.
    The Persian Letters is an epistolary novel consisting of letters sent to and from two fictional Persians, Usbek and Rica, who set out for Europe in 1711 and remain there at least until 1720, when the novel ends. When Montesquieu wrote the Persian Letters, travellers' accounts of their journeys to hitherto unknown parts of the world, and of the peculiar customs they found there, were very popular in Europe.
  • Rousseau publishes Discourse on equality.

    Rousseau publishes Discourse on equality.
    Discourse on the Origin and Basis of Inequality Among Men (Discours sur l'origine et les fondements de l'inégalité parmi les hommes), also commonly known as the "Second Discourse", is a work by philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The text was written in 1754 in response to a prize competition of the Academy of Dijon answering the prompt: What is the origin of inequality among men, and is it authorized by natural law?
  • Voltaire publishes Candide.

    Voltaire publishes Candide.
    It begins with a young man, Candide, who is living a sheltered life in an Edenic paradise and being indoctrinated with Leibnizian optimism (or simply Optimism) by his mentor, Pangloss. The work describes the abrupt cessation of this lifestyle, followed by Candide's slow, painful disillusionment as he witnesses and experiences great hardships in the world. Voltaire concludes with Candide, if not rejecting optimism outright, advocating a deeply practical precept, "we must cultivate our garden."