Chapter 17: The Age of Enlightenment
- How did the Enlightenment change basic Western attitudes toward reform, faith, and reason?
- Why did the philosophes consider organized religion to be their greatest enemy?
- What were the basic tenets of deism?
- How did Jewish writers contribute to Enlightenment thinking about religion (Spinoza and Mendelsohn)?
- What are the similarities and differences between the Enlightenment evaluation of Islam and its evaluations of Christianity and Judaism?
- What were the attitudes of the philosophes toward women?
- What was Rousseau’s view of women? What were the separate spheres he imagined men and women occupying?
- What were Mary Wollstonecraft’s criticisms of Rousseau’s view?
- How did the political views of Montesquieu differ from those of Rousseau? Which did Rousseau value more, the individual or society?
- What does the partition of Poland indicate about the spirit of enlightened despotism?
- Which enlightened despot embodied the values and ideas of the Enlightenment the best? Provide examples.
- Tabula rasa
- Spirit of Laws
- Social Contract
- Adam Smith
- Wealth of Nations
- Enlightened Despotism
- Frederick the Great of Prussia
- Joseph II of Austria
- Catherine the Great of Russia
- Rococo art
- Mary Wollstonecraft
- To what extent did the Enlightenment express optimistic ideas in eighteenth century Europe? Illustrate your answer with references to specific individuals and their works.
- Analyze the ways in which Enlightenment thought addressed religious beliefs and social issues in the eighteenth century.
- How did the views of the mercantilists about the earth’s resources differ from those of Adam Smith in his book The Wealth of Nations?
- Were the enlightened monarchs true believers in the ideals of the philosophes, or was their enlightenment a mere veneer? Was their power really absolute? What motivated their reforms?