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Enlightenment and Modernity - Essay Example

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Name Institution Course Instructor Date Enlightenment and Modernity Enlightenment was a period of an expansive cultural, philosophical, intellectual, and social movement that spread through Germany, France, England, and other parts of Europe during the 16th century…
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Enlightenment and Modernity
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Enlightenment and Modernity

Download file to see previous pages... Intellectuals emerged and new knowledge permeated every facet of educated life. The Enlightenment period welcomed Industrial Revolution. This created jobs for the rural and educated dwellers. The advancements of Enlightenment transformed the European nations into more intelligent and self-aware civilization. The thinkers and writers believed that they were more enlightened than their fellow citizens were and therefore took the initiative to educate them. They held that through reasoning people could build a better world. People could solve problems through rational thought and experimentation. This was because a reasonable person could eradicate ignorance, superstition, and autocracy (Beales, 2005:81). People increased their reading habits because of availability of books from the publishing firms. This paper will endeavour to establish the role that publishers and readers played in the dissemination of enlightenment thought. The principles of enlightenment spread throughout Europe and America mainly through reading and writings. Debating societies, coffeehouses, salons, and literary circles came into being all over Europe. People interacted through studying and discussing wide rage of topics. The inquiry of knowledge led to emergence of big academies such as the Royal Society of London and Academy of Sciences in Paris. The academy concentrated on sciences such as biology, anatomy, botany, and astronomy. The academies gave little consideration on religious and spiritual studies. In Germany, only aristocracy and bourgeoisie studied in the academies. Conversely, French academies allowed all the citizens to participate in learning regardless of religious beliefs, social classes, and gender (Beales, 2005:83). Great writers, readers, and publishers came up to disseminate information on enlightenment thoughts. Authors passed their ideas to the readers in form of plays, essays, newspapers, journals, pamphlets, and books. Many people craved for knowledge and wanted free access to the literary works of the intellectuals who spearheaded enlightenment. Public libraries remained accessible to all people due to increasing demand to fight illiteracy. People could participate in society of Enlightenment. The publishers and readers were very active in dissemination of the writings of the scholars such as Baron de Montesquieu, Voltaire, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The availability of publication machines in Europe was an indispensable tool for quick dissemination of enlightenment thoughts. The expansion of large printing machines generated journals, reviews, letters ensuring faster transmission of information and images in coffee rooms, salons, lodgings, scientific societies, provincial academies, and debating clubs (Brewer, 2006:10). With this information in their midst, people could read for themselves, interrogate, and chat the way forward to achieve the benefits of Enlightenment. Intellectual people imparted new knowledge to the masses thus decolonising their primitive and backward thoughts. The vast information in form of printed materials expanded the comprehension base of the readers. The intellectuals criticised the church for misleading the people. The views in the print materials acted as guiding principles for creation of strong nations that embraced reasoning. Continued reading and publication of enlightenment materials brought significant changes in Europe. People could challenge the church and monarchies. Intellectuals viewed the church as an impediment to the forward march of human ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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