The Enlightenment

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  • Jan 1, 1440

    Gutenberg's Printing Press

    Gutenberg's Printing Press
    Created around 1440 by the German Johannes Gutenberg, the invention of the printing press was an essential event leading up to the Enlightenment. With the invention of the printing press, knowledge was much more accessible to average citizens. Religious scripture was also made available to average citizens; the Bible was the first book printed.
  • Oct 31, 1517

    Protestant Reformation

    Protestant Reformation
    The Reformation was a religious movement which created a divsion in Western Christianity in the 1500's. Reformers challenged the doctrines, organization, and practices of the Roman Catholic Church. This event was sparked in 1517 with Martin Luther nailing his Ninety-Five Theses to the church door in Wittenburg, Germany. This was an essential event leading up to the Enlightenment because it was the first time individuals questioned the power of the Church on such a large scale.
  • Two Treatises of Government by John Locke

    Two Treatises of Government by John Locke
    John Locke, English writer and philosopher, published Two Treatises of Government in 1689. This was influential in the Enlightenment because ti revolutionized the views on the government and many concepts included in this writing were later used the American Constitution.
  • The Spirit of Laws by Montesquieu

    The Spirit of Laws by Montesquieu
    Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu's the Spirit of Laws was published in 1748. In this piece of literature Montesquieu argues that the type of government should depend on the condition of the country. This idea changed the political views during Enlightenment.
  • Encyclopedie

    Encyclopedie
    French philosopher and writer Denis Diderot published the first volume of the Encylclopedie in 1751. The Encyclopedie was the first piece of literature of its kind. It was a collection of that provided information in a vast range of subjects.This was important to the Enlightenment because it demonstrated humanism and man''s quest to further human knowledge.
  • American Revolution

    American Revolution
    America's quest for independence from Britain was inspired by the ideals of the Enlightenment. Americans decided to rebel from England because they believed they should have the natural rights that were mentioned by many writer s of the Enlightenment. These rights of freedom of religion, speech, press, and a limited role of the government were supported by America's first leaders.
  • Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith

    Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith
    Scottish philosopher and economist Adam Smith's first edition of Wealth of Nations was published in 1776. Smith argues that the free-market economy is best and argues against mercantilism. This event was important to the Enlightenment because it revolutionized people's thoughts on the governemnt and the economy.
  • Common Sense by Thomas Paine

    Common Sense by Thomas Paine
    Thomas Paine published this pamphlet anonymously. Common Sense urged American colonists to fight for Independence when many colonists were undecided.This was an essential event in the Enlightenment because of it was an impetus for the American Revolution and it changed people's perspective on the role of the government.
  • French Revolution

    French Revolution
    The French Revolution began in 1789 with the events of the Estates General, National Assembly, and the storming of the Bastille. The writings and ideas such as freedom, of religion, speech, and the common people's right to govern from the Enlightenement sparked the French Revolution.
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    Isaac Newton

    Isaac Newton was a brilliant Enlightenment mathematician an d scientist. Newton was an influential figure in the Enlightenment and in modern day because of his laws of gravitation and motions, and his development of calculus
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    Voltaire

    Voltaire was a French Enligghtnement writer and philosopher. In his most famous novel, Candide, Voltaire attacked the optimism, religion, and many other social issues. He is an important figure in the Enlightenment because of his advocacy for the freedom of religion, expression, and trade.
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    Ben Franklin

    Ben Franklin was an American statesman and scientist during the Enlightenment. He is know for his experiement with a kite in a thunder storm whi later lead to his invention of the lightning rod. Franklin contributed to the Enlightenment with his inventions of the lightning rod and bifocal glasses, as well being a diplomat during the American Revolution.