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Enlightenment Essay

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  • Jan. 15, 2013
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Ideas concerining religion, the value of a man, and reason were synthesized into a worldview that gained wide assent during the Enlightenment. It fueled revolutionary developments in art, politics, and philosophy. Reason was celebrated as a power by which man understood the universe and his own condition. The idea of a rational world boasted freedom, knowledge, and happiness. The Enlightenment, moved by government support, expressed renewed interest in , the power of government, reason, and the potential of equality.

The Enlightenment like many historic movements, didn't happen in a day. The potential of a movement is that it is ever changing. Catherine the Great was overall viewed as an enlighened monarch as she modernized Russia. Catherine the Great created reforms that increased Russia's wealth, used scientific method in agriculture, inoculated small pox, and territorial expansion.Yet she did nothing to abolish or even lessen serfdom in Russia. While she was an enlightened monarch she would not have her imperial administration challenged and strongly opposed the Pugachev Revolt of 1774, Catherine stated "...all persons who dare incite serfs and peasants to disobey their landworlds shall be arrested and taken to the nearest government office, there to be punished forthwith as disturbers of the public tranquility" (Document 3) For all intents and purposes, Catherine the Great believed that futilism was ingrained in society and was prominent until the Russian Revolution . Diderot, a French Philosopher and writer of Encyclopedia, had the support and patronage of Catherine the Great. In Encyclopedia, Diderot proprose that goverment be a reflection of the will of the people, "The good of the people is the great will of the government" yet also be limited by a constituion, or supreme governing document which reflect natural law and law of reason to protect liberty. This belief was reflected in both the American Revolution and the French Revolution. To deny someone...