What Was the Enlightenment AP Euro Bit by Bit 25

hi my name is Paul Sarge and welcome once again an AP euro bit-by-bit where I'm trying to break down modern European history into small bite-sized pieces so you can better understand it today's topic the Enlightenment what is it let's find out all right so the Enlightenment really was a time where people took the ideas and the methods of the Scientific Revolution and felt and tried to see if there was a way they could discover the natural laws that not only govern the universe which had been done very successfully by guys like Newton but which governed human society in other words if you take away the old accepted authorities like Copernicus did and like Galileo didn't like Newton did for science and you discount the there the old wisdom and you start looking at things through a new lens questioning even the basic presumptions of an idea then maybe you can come to a better understanding of it so applying this to human societies meant asking the question of why are things the way they are and so in the Enlightenment many thinkers went through and tried to find the solution to a lot of man's problems their goal was ultimately to rely on human reason rationalism the ability of the mind to think through problems in order to try and create a better society for everybody to try and minimize human suffering as much as possible and to try and make the world or at least Europe as good as they possibly could for Europeans so what issues did the Enlightenment address well the issues of political representation the ideals of the natural rights of man the ideals of how to find a ruler and what limits on those rulers should be the ideals of what religion is and what should be tolerated in terms of religion the ideals of how to create a society that would be beneficial for everybody and what that meant in terms of who to follow and so you have a progression of ideas so one major example of this is the encyclopedia that's edited by a guy named Denis Diderot or Denis Diderot if you're looking into a textbook sometimes you might call it DITA rod but no dieter oh he's French all right so the guy goes out and he says let's put together an encyclopedia multi-volume work that has all of human knowledge in it with illustrations and let's make it so that people can understand it diro is not a big philosopher but he's pulling together all of these ideas with the big assumption that if people have access to information free access to information although you had to pay to get a prescription to this thing but you know what I'm talking about if you have free access to the information then you have the ability to question things that are going on why are there absolute monarchs that doesn't make rational sense why should priests be the only ones who tell us how to get into heaven that doesn't make a lot of sense and it leads people to some very big decisions now the specifics of the Enlightenment are going to focus on some major figures Voltaire Diderot Rousseau Montesquieu and if you want to go back into perhaps the proto enlightenment John Locke but the foundation of it all the basis of the Enlightenment comes from Isaac Newton who proved that a mathematical evaluation of the universe shows that the universe operates perfectly and that in his view God was a clockmaker who set things in motion and it was a much better clock maker than one that has to always play with the clock and fix it and make little adjustments here and there he created the perfect clock that never needed his intervention and if that's true then as the Enlightenment thinker said you could figure out the laws that govern human society and you could make them work so what are the ultimate results of this well they're mixed all over the place you have some places that try to institute a sort of enlightened despotism or enlightened absolutism where one ruler is still absolute but try some enlightened things you have a constitutional monarchy that that exists in England and becomes more and more ruled by Parliament and less and less by the royal family and in the ultimate expression of the Enlightenment perhaps with the other example of the early days of the French Revolution but that gets a little out of hand the United States of America comes along with perhaps the greatest summary of Enlightenment ideals in two documents number one the Declaration of Independence declaring that there are natural laws that everyone must follow and that people have the rights to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness number two the US Constitution which took all of the political ideals of the Enlightenment including religious freedom and all of this other stuff and put them into writing and said government has to follow this so in a way our entire society in the United States comes from this one period that's why it's important to know so anyway we're going to get into some more detail I want to get into a couple of different Enlightenment thinkers here but for now that's your basic introduction the Enlightenment this is AP euro a bit by bit and I hope it's helping my name is Paul Sargent please subscribe and thanks for watching