The Age of Enlightenment or Reason

Timeline created by 21728
  • Jan 1, 1450

    The Printing Press

    The Printing Press
    The printing press was invented by Johannes Gutenberg around the time of 1450. It lead to the Enlightenment when it printed the Bible and gave common people the ability to interpret it how they wanted to. It helped with the development of science, religion and art through text. This helped lead to the Enlightenment because it allowed people to write and express their ideas, and gave out writings to the masses.
  • Jan 1, 1517

    Luther's 95 Theses

    Luther's 95 Theses
    Luther posted the 95 theses because he was upset with the corruption in the Church, mainly with the sale of indulgences. He posted what he believed, and the ideas spread. This lead to the Enlightenment, because at this time it was unheard of to oppose the Church and state one's own ideas. So after this happened more people were willing to share what they believed, and it helped people to break away from the norm, which is what the Enlightenment was about.
  • Deism

    There's not really a specific year that it was founded. It is the idea that God creatd the universe and set it into motion, but left it to run on its own and not interfere. There were only a few Deists. This is important to the Enlightenment, because Deists believed in God, but that they were in charge of their own lives and that they could make their own decisions and mistakes, which was a main idea of this time to be in control of one's self. Ben Franklin was a Deist.
  • Locke and the Second Treatise

    Locke and the Second Treatise
    The Declaration of Independence is based off of Locke's "Life, liberty and property" idea. He believed sovereignty should be in the people's hands.
  • Newton and the Principia

    Newton and the Principia
    The second edition was published in 1713, and the third in 1726. The second edition had to do with fluid motion, and the third the system of the world, like planets and gravitation. Newton's discoveries were some of the most important during the Enlightenment age.
  • Poor Richard's Almanack

    Poor Richard's Almanack
    Many read the Almanack written by Ben Franklin. It had scientific information, as well as calendars, poems and weather. This allowed common people to read what was going on at the time, and it was a source of learning.
  • Ben Franklin and electricity

    Ben Franklin and electricity
    He wrote a couple books on electricity and did his famous flying a kite experiment. If it hadn't been for his work on the subject, Thomas Edison might not have invented the light bulb. The Enlightenment era was about thinking of new things and trying to learn as much as possible.
  • Montesquieu and the Spirit of the Laws

    Montesquieu and the Spirit of the Laws
    He said in the Spirit of the Laws that the type of government depended on various circumstances, and this implied governments didn't need to be permanent, which was a somewhat radical idea at the time. The best government fit the needs of the people in question. The Enlightenment was about people working out their needs.
  • Voltaire and Candide

    Voltaire and Candide
    Voltaire wrote Candide in anger after an earthquake happened and killed off a bunch of people in Portugal, and everyone was saying it was for the best. So Voltaire wrote this book with the idea that suffering was "for the best." It was one of the biggest satires of this era. It is important to the Enlightenment, because even though it exaggerates it a little bit, it reflects what people thought and felt at this time.
  • Rousseau and the Social Contract

    Rousseau and the Social Contract
    He believed society was corrupt and that men had to live by laws that they made to reach true morality. The general will is right. It provided the origins for democracy. Again, in the Enlightenment period it was important that a man was in charge of himself.
  • Denis Diderot and the Encyclopedia

    Denis Diderot and the Encyclopedia
    Diderot agreed to publish the Encylopedia because he wanted "to assemble the knowledge scattered over the face of the earth; to explain its general plan to the men with whom we live … so that we may not die without having deserved well of the human race." He obviously thought the Encyclopedia was important during this time.
  • Adam Smith and the Wealth of Nations

    Adam Smith and the Wealth of Nations
    Smith wrote the book saying that the country should move away from mercantilism and have a free-market system. He thought that for everyone to be prosperous, there had to be an increased self-interest in trades, a limited government, and a solid currency with a free-market economy, and he wrote this all in his book. It is considered one of the best writings published at this time. Some believe this idea has universally raised the standard of living more than any other idea.