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Democracy, Rights & Empire I [COMPLETE NOTES Part 7] -- got a 4.0 in the course

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HIST 1019

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Enlightenment – 18  century th There existed two different sources for man’s  paragon of behavior – both similar in that they look  backwards in time for answers: Humanism: • A Guideline for mankind – moral standard by which others can measure  themselves • Civic virtue. Protestants: • Looked to the scriptures. o Dictation of God guided their behavior. How ordinary people and leaders of the Catholic Church view natural disasters and  tragedies – God’s hand is in everything: – 1755 All Saints Day. Earthquake strikes Lisbon, Portugal (very urban society/ prosperous) o Followed by fire o Followed by tsunami What caused it? Debated heavily o Archbishop: Relying on absolutism, he said it was God’s punishment for  Portugal’s sinful behavior (Sodom and Gomorrah style)  We are well into the 18  century, here. They are still taking quotes  from olden days.  He particularly noted, “Those philosophers (scientists) who think  that earthquakes are caused by fires beneath the Earth had better  take another look at Lisbon as an example of God’s ire.”  Defending the idea that God controls all events  Very old thinking. o Thomas Gordon’s (Scotsman) rebuttal:  Woah woah woah, plate tectonics are a real thing.  Also, religious people were not spared. Also, in CT, USA, militiamen were drinking and having a good old time in a bar,  when a musket was accidentally fired. o Argument made that musket didn’t fall. It was felled by God. These ideas were challenged by 18  century philosophers ^^^ Montesquieu (French political thinker). Politics are controlled by men and men should be able to therefore control their own destiny. • Espoused the experiential argument (more dynamic): o (Runs counter to the absolutism (static perception of the world)) o The Earth is heterogeneous, not homogenous. • Geography, politics, economics, law – everything comes together and shape any given society. • AND the outcomes are different from state to state because variables differ (geography, political goals, economic structure, etc.) • These multiple variables account for differences in the world. (Absolutist vs. counties like England, which is growing more prosperous and more democratic.) More examples: Cesar Beccaria (?) wrote On Crimes and Punishments in 1768 • In many societies, the way punishment was doled out was not about deterring  crime, but about terrifying the populous for state domination. o Kind of reminiscent of Utopia, were thieves are killed just because they  have to steal to survive. • Opposed to brutal punishments. Punishments should be proportionate to the  crime. • At the time, there were 350 criminal acts punishable by death. o Allen Roger’s favorite – kicking over a drying rack gets you hanged. Didero, editor and author of 17­volume Encyclopedia in 1760 • We are now at the point in history that we must compile all of our technological  information so as to make further change possible. • Pre­req for making changes is knowledge. • Consolidating this knowledge will cause rapid tech expansion beneficial to  everyone. o Why? Men are capable of reas
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