World Civilizations II
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How could rational thought and technological development have affected the world’s development in the modern age and the development to where we are today?
The Purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how rational thought and technological advancement was the driving force behind the Modern Age. The reader will have some understanding as to how rational thought opened up minds to a new way of thinking that would lead the way for individuals to question society, religion, and government. This paper will also include technological advancements that helped to spread the thoughts of intellectuals and philosophers. By the end of this paper the reader will have a better since of the role that rational thought and technological advancement played in the Modern Age and how it changed the world into what it is today.
What role did rational thought play in the Modern Age? Rational thought gave the individual a new outlook on their daily lives and how they could step away from the old way of living under the heel of the church. With the introduction of this new way of thinking Martin Luther chose to question the Catholic Church and its misuse of its power. During the 16 century the Catholic Church made membership in the Church to be the only salvation for the mortal soul. The threat of excommunication was used to keep their followers in line and to punish those that chose to question the legitimacy of the Catholic Church’s claims. Rational thought did not only question religion but also had the citizens of Europe questioning their governments. The everyday citizen was now starting to see themselves as an unrepresented and overly taxed group in their own countries. People all over Europe started to see themselves breaking away from the old ways of the monarchy and wanting rights that would protect them as a member of society. Ideas like these are what would lead to the American and French Revolutions.
What role did the advancement of technology play in the Modern Age? Possibly the most important invention in the Modern Age is the invention of the printing press. The printing press was invented by a man named Johannes Gutenberg and would allow for the thoughts of intellectuals and philosophers to be printed and distributed quickly. These printings spread the ideas of the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment broke new ground in Europe giving people a new way of seeing the world, and spreading the ideas of individualism, natural rights, and the questioning of religion and the governments purpose. Another invention of the Modern Age that played a large role in the advancement of Europe was the discovery of coal. Coal was used as an alternative source of power to the burning of wood. Due to England’s increasing need for more and more timber that England’s forests were running short of caused England to search of a resource that was in abundance in the English countryside that resource was coal.
What is it about your subject that makes it uniquely modern? What makes my subject uniquely modern is that the teachings of the Enlightenment can still be used today to better ourselves and reeducate ourselves on how we should perceive the world around us. We can see every day just by turning on our televisions and turning to the news channel how governments around the world are oppressing there people in some way. The teachings of the Enlightenment are valuable to any generation giving us examples of how it was used to bring down oppressive societies through the actions of the common man. It was through these actions that the people of Europe gained control over their own governments creating a country that would serve its people and not just rule it without question. These teachings of rational thought and individual thinking can be applied to today’s societies all over the world even our own. Just because we are complacent with how we...