In 1789, King Louis XVI of France was forced to call the Estates General to pay off some of his debts. The Estates General was an assembly which consisted of representatives of three estates: the clergy, the nobility, and common people. The voting was by estate, with each estate having one vote. The Estates General … Continue reading The French Revolution & Napoleon’s treatment of the church
The American Revolution was the result of a longstanding dispute between the American colonists and the British over the British constitutional tradition. The colonists claimed that they had the same rights as those in England, and that they did not lose them by coming over to America. The colonists had several local assemblies to discuss … Continue reading What Caused the American Revolution?
The 18th century saw the rise of Enlightened absolutism. Enlightened absolutists were rulers who ruled in an absolute manner and embraced certain Enlightenment principles. Some of them even corresponded with Enlightenment thinkers. One example of an enlightened absolutist ruler was Frederick the Great of Prussia. Frederick was friends with Voltaire, one of the most prominent … Continue reading Enlightened Absolutism
Louis XV After the absolutist monarch Louis XIV died, his 5 year old great-grandson Louis XV became king. Louis suppressed, but was not able to completely subdue, the parlements. Seeing their opportunity with a young king, their power began increasing again. The cause of absolute monarchy, which had reached it’s height under Louis XIV, began … Continue reading Louis XV
French materialists The French materialists believed that there is only matter, and believed that there is no spiritual element in the universe. They also concluded that man was like a machine, and that man is thus not morally responsible for their actions. They also concluded that man should aim to maximize pleasure. Adam Smith In … Continue reading The French Materialists & Adam Smith
During the Middle Ages, the scientific understanding of cosmology was a combination of the ideas of Aristotle, Ptolemy, and others. They believed in a fixed, motionless earth at the center of a series of cocentric spheres where there were perfectly spherical planets in circular orbits at a constant speed. This theory is known as the … Continue reading The Heliocentric Model of the Solar System, the Role of Religion, and the Enlightenment.
Peter the great was the tsar of Russia from 1682-1725. Peter favored the westernization and modernization of Russia. He tried to impose Western customs and ideas on the Russians. Peter thought that the Russian people were backward and superstitious and needed to be opened up to foreign customs. Peter declared that all Russian men had … Continue reading Peter the Great & Frederick William “The Great Elector”