What is the Enlightenment?
• Cultural movement of intellectuals in the 17 and 18 centuries.
• Began first in Europe and later in American Colonies.
• Purpose was to reform society, using reason, challenge the ideas of faith &
tradition, and advance knowledge through the scientific method.
• Promoted Scientific thought, skepticism and intellectual exchange.
• It opposed superstition, and intolerance. Catholic churches were the main targets.
• The ideas of the enlightenment have had a major impact on culture, politics, and
governments of the Western World.
• The scientific revolution is closely tied to the Enlightenment as its discoveries
overturned many traditional concepts and introduced new perspectives on nature
and man’s place within it.
• There was a rise of capitalism and a birth of socialism