French Revolution

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Thomas Paine – American Philosophy

By | 2017-08-14T13:00:34+00:00 August 14th, 2017|North America, Philosophy|

Thomas Paine (by Matthew Pratt, about 1790) In the late 1700s AD, around the same time that Voltaire, du Chatelet, and Rousseau were writing philosophy in France, and Hume was writing in England, Thomas Paine was writing philosophy in America. Paine was born in England, and his father was a Quaker, and owned a small business. Young Paine didn't go to [...]

Enlightenment – European religion

By | 2017-08-07T09:21:04+00:00 August 7th, 2017|Modern Europe, Religion|

René Descartes All this fighting about religion meant that people in Europe spent a lot of time thinking about what they really believed. So by 1630 AD, some people got some new ideas about God. This was the beginning of the Enlightenment. In 1630, Rene Descartes wrote that people should only believe things that had been proven to [...]

Mary Wollstonecraft – European philosophy

By | 2017-08-07T09:14:19+00:00 August 7th, 2017|Modern Europe, Philosophy|

Mary Wollstonecraft - European philosophy Mary Wollstonecraft was the most famous woman among the Enlightenment philosophers of the 1700s AD. Like Damaris Masham and Mary Astell in the 1600s, Wollstonecraft mainly argued that men should not prevent women from getting a good education. You think this is obvious? But Rousseau, just a few years earlier, had argued that men should [...]

Voltaire – European philosopher

By | 2017-08-07T09:08:41+00:00 August 7th, 2017|Modern Europe, Philosophy|

Voltaire - a French philosopher Voltaire took ideas about religion, science, and human rights that were just getting started in the 1700s AD, and encouraged new ways of thinking about them. His ideas paved the way for the American Revolutionary War and the French Revolution, though he died just before the French Revolution. Voltaire was [...]

Jean-Jacques Rousseau – European philosophy

By | 2017-08-07T08:45:23+00:00 August 7th, 2017|Modern Europe, Philosophy|

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, a European philosopher Rousseau was born in 1712 AD into a Protestant family living in Geneva, and his mother died of an infection she caught while he was being born. Like the earlier philosopher Astell, Jean-Jacques Rousseau's family was not rich, and like her Rousseau didn't get to go to school much. At 13 his uncle [...]

Georg Hegel – European Philosophy

By | 2017-08-07T08:00:25+00:00 August 7th, 2017|Modern Europe, Philosophy|

Georg Hegel, a European philosopher Georg Hegel, twenty years younger than Wollstonecraft, wasn't interested in political or economic equality for either men or women. As a late Enlightenment philosopher, Hegel worked with the problem Descartes and Hobbes had outlined of the relationship between mind, soul, and body. Descartes and Kant pretty much believed in the existence of the soul. Hobbes [...]

Napoleon – European History

By | 2017-08-05T23:25:31+00:00 August 5th, 2017|History, Modern Europe|

Napoleon in 1806 Right after the French Revolution, a lot of people in France were wondering, what sort of government did they really want? People wanted democracy, but on the other hand they were tired of the Revolution killing so many people and not getting much done. A young general, Napoleon, took advantage of the [...]

Louis XV and Lous XVI of France

By | 2017-09-27T17:21:34+00:00 August 5th, 2017|History, Modern Europe|

Philippe II d'Orleans, regent for Louis XV When Louis XIV died in 1715 AD, his great-grandson Louis was only five years old. First his uncle Philippe, then his teacher Cardinal Fleury, ran the government. Both these men saw that more and more people in France were getting interested in Enlightenment ways of thinking. How should the Enlightenment [...]

European history – 1500 to now

By | 2017-08-05T17:23:24+00:00 August 5th, 2017|History, Modern Europe|

Vasco da Gama and Columbus used ships like these During the 1500s AD, the people of Europe got much richer than they had been in the Middle Ages. With the collapse of the Mongol Empire, European traders gave up on trying to reach India and China overland. The Islamic kingdoms of West Asia were too much in the way. They changed direction [...]

French Revolution – History of France

By | 2017-08-05T15:03:13+00:00 August 5th, 2017|History, Modern Europe|

French women revolutionaries march on the king's palace at Versailles All through the 1700s, Enlightenment philosophers in France had been figuring out new ways of thinking about the world. Little by little they rejected religion and inherited power. They invented the idea that people should use logic and reason to make choices, that people - both [...]