Questions tagged [enlightenment]

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25
votes
1answer
3k views

Did Catherine the Great really call for the abolition of serfdom?

... like Catherine the Great S01E01 (2019) shows? This would be almost a century before serfdom was actually abolished, and makes one wonder why the Czars didn't just do it, if they were in favor of ...
5
votes
3answers
254 views

Did Freemasons hold Enlightenment ideals?

I was doing research on early US presidents and read that men like George Washington probably were attracted to the Masonic Lodge due to the Lodge aligning well with popular Enlightenment ideas around ...
22
votes
1answer
2k views

Hiring professionals to transcribe historical documents

I'm sorry if this question sounds strange but I'm not sure where else in the world to post it. I have an eighteenth-century will that I'd like to be able to read, but I have very little practice in ...
9
votes
2answers
8k views

Did Diderot say “Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest”?

The following quote is often attributed to Diderot - co-founder of the Encyclopédie and one of the most notable figures during the Enlightenment: Men will never be free until the last king is ...
6
votes
2answers
307 views

What was Rousseau' point in “The Social Contract ”?

What point was Rousseau trying to make in "The Social Contract"? I know that it has to do with a contract between the people. I have read The Social Contract. It is very hard for me to understand. I ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

How many U.S. Founding Fathers knew about Baruch Spinoza?

I know the founders like Jefferson and Madison were extremely well read. I've heard they were very effected by the enlightenment. Do we know with any certainty if they read Spinoza?
12
votes
1answer
4k views

Origin of scientific racism?

Modern scientific racism became wide spread during the age of enlightenment. Is there a single person that could be labeled as the 'father' of modern scientific racism?
1
vote
0answers
77 views

How direct was the Enlightenment's role in the French Revolution?

John Thomson, in his book "Europe after Napoleon", argues that the Enlightenment had little direct role in creating the conditions for revolution. Neither the thinkers prescribed revolution nor the ...
5
votes
3answers
290 views

Symbolism in illustration for a book by Riccati

The front cover of the book Opere (1761) by Jacopo Riccati, author of the celebrated Riccati equation, has the illustration depicted below. What is the symbolism incorporated in this illustration? (...
5
votes
2answers
397 views

Why was 17th Century England a particularly supportive place for groundbreaking thought? [closed]

Issac Newton, John Lock, Robert Hooke, Thomas Hobbes, John Milton, Robert Boyle, Francis Bacon...etc. Was 17th century England somehow more conducive to excellent new ideas or was it no more ...