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You are here: UMWiki>Main Web>WikiUsers>PsTL1251>Chapter17 (31 Mar 2008, PsTL1251)

Chapter 17 Resources: The West on the Eve of a New World Order

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Chapter Overview

Textbook Contribution

The 18th century stands as the turning point in world history, as the power of the old order diminished and revolution ushered in a new age. The century began with power in the hands of nobles, monarchs and clerics. Large-scale war demanded increasingly large armies with the subsequent need for higher taxes to fund them. In addition, growing populations and fundamental changes in economics began to reduce the power and importance of the old order. New world wars allowed Great Britain to create a world wide empire backed by the greatest navy. Increasing economic pressures helped to spawn a revolutionary movement that surged to the surface in the Western Hemisphere and in France. The movement demanded political liberty and equality –key concepts of the Enlightenment. While limited in reality, opportunities for most people were increased, and government became more responsive to the desires of its citizens.

Student Response #1

French revolution was the major vehicle for the change occurred in Europe in the eighteen century. It demolished the institution of the old regime which mentally, physically, economically and psychologically shackled a majority of Europeans for centuries and established a new order based on individual rights, representative institutions, and a concept of loyalty to the nation rather than to the monarch. Also, the French Revolution opened a door for enthusiastic intellectuals and scientists to venture a new idea called enlightenment and scientific Revolution. Enlightenment philosophy and Scientific Revolution speeded up the economy of Europe and light industries began to blossom. People developed immunity against diseases and as the result the number of population increased.

During sixteen century China was a sophisticated nation in civilization, human achievement and well ahead of Europe. However, Europe sought to take over China and advanced technology in short period of time. The reason for rapid change and growth of Europe was the transformation of economic philosophy from metaphysical theory to materialistic perspective. Fast economic growth pushed Europe to look for a raw materials and colonized Latin America, Central America, South America and North America. The colonization didn’t help a native Indians and they faced brutal repression from dominant governments.

Essay Questions #1. Who were the leading figures of the Enlightenment, and what were their main contributions? How did their ideas help change society?

Student Response #1

Essay Question #2. What was the relationship between the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment? In what ways was the Scientific Revolution necessary for the Enlightenment to have occurred?

Student Response #1

Nicholas Copernicus

  • Heliocentric Theory
    • The Planets revolve around the sun
    • The moon revolved around the Earth
    • Earth explains daily rotation
    • Heavenly spheres move in circular orbits
  • Issues
    • Reasoning vs. Religious dogma
    • Man is not the center of the universe
    • Physical law vs. Spiritual power

Galileo Galilei

  • 1st to use an instrument to discover
  • Discoveries
    • Mountains on the moon
    • Four moons revolving Jupiter
    • Phases of Venus
  • Trial by the Roman Catholic Church
    • Discoveries threatened what the church taugh
    • Forced to take back his discoveries

Isaac Newton

  • Universal Law of Gravity
    • Why the planets are not in straight lines
    • Three Laws of motion
    • Newtonian Physics

Changed society

  • Increased quality of science
  • Separated science from religion
  • People had a skeptical attitude

Student Contribution #2

1. The Scientific Revolution and the Enlightment created social & political changes

A. Scientific Revolution

  1. Led to the Industrial Revolution
  2. Industrial Revolution led to “foundations of the modern world”
  3. Created profit for resources
  4. “Europeans enlarged their bureaucratic machinery and consolidated their governments in order to collect the revenues and amass the armies needed to compete militarily with rivals”

B. Enlightment

  1. Movement from the Scientific Revolution
  2. Led to believe: Progress to make a better society: (a) Reason; (b) Natural Law; (c) Hope; (d) Progress

C. Impact of Scientific Revolution on Enlightment for Enlightment to occer. Impressed with the impact/accomplishments of the Scientific Revolution

  1. Relationship with Science
  2. The dramatic changes: (1) Developed new conceptions of the universe; (2) Sought ways to improve material conditions; (3) Political changes/control over society

Essay Question #3. What were the causes, the main events, and the results of the French Revolution? Which aspects of the French Revolution did Napoleon preserve, and which did he destroy?

Student Response #1


In the 1700's the dominant governmental system throughout Europe was the Absolute Monarchy. But by 1700, in parts of Europe, religious and other warfare had made people more fearful of passions and chaos. Fanaticism was more feared, and intellect was more respected as a barrier to fanaticism. Monarchs of Prussia, Russia, and Austria supposedly followed the advice of the philosophes and ruled by enlightenment principles after most philosophes believed that people needed to be ruled by an enlightened ruler. The philosophes believed in natural rights, which were thought to be privileges that ought not to be withheld from any person. These natural rights included equality before the law, freedom of religion worship, freedom of speech and press, and the right to assemble, hold property and pursue happiness. They also insinuated that rulers will be enlightened if they foster the arts, science, and education. Above all, they must obey the laws and enforce them fairly for all subjects. Only strong monarchs seemed capable of overcoming vested interests and affecting the reforms society needed. Reform then should come from absolute rulers rather than from the people.

PRUSSIA: THE ARMY AND THE BUREAUCRACY For a time, Frederick seemed quite willing to make enlightened reforms. He abolished the use of torture except in treason and murder cases and also granted limited freedom of speech and press, as well as complete religion toleration. However, he kept Prussia’s rigid social structure and serfdom intact and avoided any additional reforms.

THE AUSTRIAN EMPIRE OF THE HABBURGS Joseph II believed in the need to sweep away anything standing in the path of reason. He abolished serfdom, abrogated the death penalty, and established the principle of equality of all before law. Joseph produced drastic religious reforms as well, including complete religious toleration. Joseph’s reform program proved overwhelming for Austria, however. He alienated the church by his attacks on the monastic establishment.

RUSSIA UNDER CATHERINE THE GREAT Catherine was skeptical about impractical theories. She did however consider the idea of a new law code that would recognize the principle of the equality of all people in the eyes of the law. She gave the nobles a charter that exempted them from taxes.

The policies seemed seriously affected by enlightenment thought. Necessities of state and maintenance of the existing system took precedence over reform. Many historians maintain that Joseph, Frederick, and Catherine were all primarily guided by a concern for the power and well-being of their states. In the final analysis, heightened state power was used to create armies and wage wars to gain more power.

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-- PsTL1251 - 23 Sep 2007

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docdoc HISTORY_ESSAY_ANSWER.doc manage 22.5 K 22 Feb 2008 - 23:04 UnknownUser Essay question 3 answer
Topic revision: r7 - 31 Mar 2008 - 00:24:13 - PsTL1251
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