Class Notes (1,100,000)
CA (650,000)
UTSG (50,000)
HIS (3,000)
HIS109Y1 (600)
Lecture

HIS109Y1 Lecture Notes - French Revolution, Autarky, Middle Ages


Department
History
Course Code
HIS109Y1
Professor
Kenneth Bartlett

This preview shows pages 1-3. to view the full 10 pages of the document.
HIS109
Feb. 7th, 2011
Science & Progress
Scientism & progress became ideas that began to inform almost every aspect of
life in the 19th century, became ideas connected to western civilization
Idea that tomorrow will be better than today, & every generation will be improved
The world is not better because of divine intervention or improvement in
mortality on our behalf, but rather due to science
Idea that we control our own destinies
Many political movements have stated implicitly or explicitly that the future will
be brighter due to progress
Background: Pre-Enlightenment Era
Any improvement in the human condition was left to the next world, this life was
a testing ground – indicator of whether or not we would be rewarded or not
Things would only get better if God made it better
Renaissance said to an extent that we are responsible for ourselves
No evidence that God pays attention to what is done on earth
In the middle ages whatever rebellions that there were against institutions were
restorative – a way in which to get back to the divine plan
The Reformation for example, was a way of getting back to the Old Testament
The series of conditions that God established that were no longer obeyed made the
world an unhappy place
Change in this world was seen as evil & wrong because God’s plan was already
there, & we would be punished
Change meant you were moving away from what was considered to be just: evil, &
eternal absolutes had to be obeyed, if not, it was considered heresy
The Renaissance – rather than going back to the apostolic church, they went back
to antiquity looking towards the examples of the Romans & Greeks
Looked to the past for inspiration, & wondered about the future
Changed the patterns of western European thought, motivated by scientific
discovery
Accepted the fact that forces of nature were comprehensible
The relegating of superstitions, that which was divinely revealed, the
unanswerable forces of God and the devil, of fortune and curse gave men &
women a new belief in human destiny (e.g., no longer would individuals think
that crops wouldn’t grow if they didn’t say a set of prayers)
www.notesolution.com

Only pages 1-3 are available for preview. Some parts have been intentionally blurred.

Superstitions were being exploded by science, proved to not be the way that the
universe works, evidence does not support this {superstitions}
Elements of the Enlightenment imagination made humans think that they could
make the world better
Challenged the things that they believed to be based on superstition, that which
was irrational, things that could not be proven using reason
Allowing of human agency to operate – French revolution unleashed baggage of
the European mind
Elements driven by a measure of human influence because they understood the
elements that drove them
Complete faith in reason, meaning that reason will change the world
Natural law, & laws of nature are benign, & a happy rational society will develop
Effects
The application of reason in the 19th century was largely scientific
Scientism that forces us to be rational & reasonable, as well as the universal
application of scientific inquiry to everything
Improvement of life on earth, because humans can control it
Change reflections of the progress made in Europe was a consequence of the
Industrial Revolution
There were better, cheaper goods, everyone was included – meaning the very
poorest could have those goods as well
More wealth for more people – wealth not just taken by the industrialist and
those with traditional power
Improvement in diets, people lived longer, better communications allowed for
people to stay in touch with one another – {e.g. access to dominant aspects of
society for remote places}
Production of a better world so to speak
European society had problems, obvious conditions included the desperate
situation of the extremely poor, & industrial working class
Change or progress meant that you could do something, not God’s will, change &
progress can be addressed by human means
Had to establish how to deal with these problems {of the poor particularly} – how
much to tax the rich, help the poor, etc.?
Big questions were those of the nature of society
Progress could be achieved by activating utopian laws
Social and political thinkers seen to believe that in fact change will happen, it is
our responsibility to make it better, direct society towards the positive and good
www.notesolution.com

Only pages 1-3 are available for preview. Some parts have been intentionally blurred.

Aftermath of WW1 – progress was challenged, questioned how they could believe
in human reason or the value of technology
19th century Europe from the perspective of a member of the middle class in any
nation: for them it was hard to believe that progress wasn’t there, & that science
didn’t provide solutions to every problem
Science and reason created a world that made us happier, healthier, & freer –
Europeans wanted to institutionalize this
Prelude to Imperialism
Technology: mechanized industry shaped the progress of Europe in the 19th
century
1815–1914 the European population increased by 2 and a half times
Explosion of population meant there was an explosion in demand of goods, & the
ability to produce more goods meant that prices fell, & individuals could get more
goods
As economies exploded, and the needs to produce more goods to satisfy needs,
made Europeans realize that the continent was insufficient -> causing them to
looks elsewhere (thus, Europe ceases to be a closed economy)
By the middle of the 19th century {1850-1870}, Europe entered a world of
international trade, & of multinational corporations
Imperialism (political manifestation of this order), had arrived
Everything had industrialized & mechanized by the 1870s, wealth and power of a
nation determined by economic output
Warfare was also mechanized
Italy & Russia considered to be 2nd powers not because of imperfection, but
because their industrial bases were not sufficient to fulfill their ambitions and
goals
Power in terms of mechanized warfare put in terms of economics
Idea that nations were great because of their industrial power and economic base
arises {e.g. Belgium is small, but was powerful because it created an empire and
had an economic base}
Imperialism
A result of successful capitalism
There is competition for empires, & the economic predominance that they would
provide began to complicate European politics {N.B. especially between the great
powers: Germany & England}
www.notesolution.com
You're Reading a Preview

Unlock to view full version