HIST 215 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Montesquieu, Maria Anna Mozart

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HIST 215- Lecture 5- Embodying Enlightenment?
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart aka “Wolfie” (1756-1791)
Enlightenment contains: Rational values, critical systems, and scientific movements
- Why and how do historians write biographies?
It sells well, people like to read stories about other people, it is easy to
write, there are more sources about them rather than poor peasants in the
17th/ 18th century
Fascination of archaism of power
It is making a comeback now in today’s day and age, ones that inform
larger processes.
I. Life in the Age of Enlightenment
A. A European Context of Travelling
- Mozart: a wandering traveller
- A permanent friend of his was Haydn: only reason he travelled in London and
Haydn had decided to free himself from his own service in the Austrian empire
and take a very lucrative position in London. In the 1760’s, if you are a musician,
they have to pay homage to more important people because they are considered
craftsmen. They start becoming appreciative of the Enlightenment and some of
them have the opportunity to gain better positions. If you are an Austrian, you
want to gain big success in Vienne (place of music), London is a peripheral place
for music, but because of commerce/ trade, merchants can put lots of money and
hire musicians to come perform. For Haydn, it was a possibility to be an
important star, and invite his friends over as well.
- Republic of Letters: Musicians, artists, philosophers form a republic and have
connections. They choose to connect in 2 ways
By travel
- Real travellers
Voltaire: French thinker of the 18th century, they were almost always in
exile because of the positions they upheld
Diderot: both spent lots of time in Russia and Prussia
David Hume and Adam Smith (“Wealth of Nations”) and the Grand Tour
(equivalent of the modern day Gap Year: consisted of youth travelling
around to lands they have learnt of Paris, German Lands, and Italy. They
would leave London and discover ruins, end of the 18th century; they
would even cross to visit Greece. The Grand Tour is the ancestor of the
word “Tourism”
- Imagined travellers
Montesquieu: French writers (“Persian Letters”, correspondence of a
Persian travelling to France and writing letters back to friends in Persia,
He published it anonymously, he criticized French people).
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