The French revolution has been one of the most important events in history that undertook various changes worldwide. Within this context, a movement was developed that began from the bourgeoisie, which is known as The Enlightenment or «The Age of Enlightenment,» which was intended to amend the spirit and reason of man.
The reason was the most transcendent for this period since it was, through this, to replace the Old Regime. Thanks to reason, man generates new doubts and questions himself about the calamities that plagued France.
Some features of the Enlightenment were:
1. Free thinking was promoted for the study and notion of what was happening at the time.
2. They leave aside the world of ideas and focus more on the facts.
3. They set aside God and reason became a fundamental fact.
His new ideas sought to maintain order in the following areas:
– Political: opposition to the absolutist regime and the search for individual freedom.
– Social: Search for justice and equality for all social classes.
– Economic: Payment of taxes without exception by all citizens and commercial freedom.
Representatives of the Enlightenment:
The Enlightenment was the result of bourgeois intellectuals who spread the new idea to the society. The new thinkers called «philosophers» who disseminated their political, religious, economic ideas, among others were born and were against the absolutist regime.
Among the main philosophers who spread these ideas were: Voltaire, Rousseau, and Montesquieu. These were thinkers who faithfully followed the ideas of John Locke, better known as «the father of new ideas.» On the other hand, there were men who were responsible for studying the economic system of the time. Among them are Quesnay, Gournay, Adam Smith and Turgot.
In this century, extremely important work for the time that brought together 28 volumes that revealed human knowledge in all fields such as science, arts, literature, politics, religion, and morals came to light. It was written by a group of philosophers, economists, and scientists. The encyclopedia was the most important medium of the Enlightenment’s ideas for its liberalism and critical sense.