Courtney Lombardo, Fangjia Li

The Four Major Ideas

Newton discovered the natural laws that governed the physical world by using his methods. The intellectuals of the Enlightenment thought they could discover the natural laws that governed human society.

John Locke's theory of knowledge also greatly affected 18th century intellectuals. In his essay Concerning Human Understanding , Locke argued that every person was born with a tabula rasa, or a blank mind.

Montesquieu tried to use the scientific method to find he natural laws that govern the social and political relationships of human being. He believed that England's government had here branches: the executive( the monarch ), the legislative( parliament), And the judicial(the courts of the law). He's analysis of the system of checks and balances through separation of powers was his most lasting contribution to political thought.

Voltaire was well known for his criticism of Christianity and his strong belief in religious toleration. He fought against religious intolerance in France. In 1763, he penned his Treatise on toleration, in which he reminded governments that " all men are brothers under God".

One Important Figure

Denis Diderot became a freelance writer so that he could study and read in many subjects and languages. His most famous contribution to the Enlightenment was the Encyclopedia, is Classified Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts, and Trades. A 28-volume collection of knowledge that he edited. It was published between 1751-1772, the purpose of tho Encyclopedia, according to Diderot, was to "change the general way of thinking." The Encyclopedia became a major weapon in the philosophies' crusade against the old French society.

How art changed during the period of enlightenment

The baroque and neoclassical styles that had dominated seventeenth- century art continued into the eighteenth century. By the 1730s, however, a new artistic style, known as rococo, had spread all over Europe. Rococo emphasized grace, charm, and gentle action. The rococo style was highly secular. Its lightness and charm spoke of the pursuit of pleasure, happiness, and love.