The enlightenment and Scientific Revolution!!! By anzar

What is the scientific revolution? The scientific revolution is a major shift in advanced thinking between 1500 and 1700, in which modern science emerged as a new of gaining knowledge about the natural world.

What happened during this time? There were many new discoveries made during this time and many old beliefs were being proved wrong for example Kepler identified the orbits of the planets were ellipses (ovals) not circular as Copernicus had thought. Galileo used a telescope to apply his understanding of motion and further validate Copernicus's heliocentric theory. His observations of Venus helped confirm it and etc.

There were many lasting affects on religion,political,and cultural institutions.

How it affected religion: It affected religion because many scientist were saying ideas about the earth and etc to the church which arrested Galileo. So the church wanted people to believe what the church says not what the scientists said. Which confused people by thinking of who to believe.

Cultural diffusion effect

It confused the people to whom they should believe the scientist or the church. But most of them believed the scientist because they had evidence to prove the theories or inventions they made like for example When Galileo made the telescope he confirmed that the earth is not the center of the universe.

It affected political power because it started the enlightenment and people started questioning the ways of ruling and doing new things. Like for example first people thought its fine just being ruled by a king then they started questioning it and demanded for a fair way of ruling like democracy.

The Scientific Theories of Copernicus and Kepler

Picture of Copernicus

This whole thing called the scientific revolution started because of this man called Nicolas Copernicus. His creative work and theories lead to a new view of the universe. First people thought nearly for 2000 years that the earth was the center of universe and that the sun and stars orbit around the earth which is called the geocentric theory. Even the bible supported this. But Copernicus proved this wrong by making a theory that the earth and other planets travel around the sun which is true and it is called the heliocentric theory. He made this theory by using observations and mathematics. Copernicus had trouble predicting the movement of planets with perfect accuracy. He still thought his theory was right and he wrote a book about it which only a few people believed and the church attacked it. Then later in the early 1600 German scientist Johannes Kepler expanded Copernicus theory. After he was done studying he found out that the orbit of the planets were ovals not circles. Because of this he wrote a precise mathematical law describing the planet's movement around the sun. This made Copernican theory correct .

Galileo's Theories

Picture of Galileo

Galileo lived at the same time as johannes kepler. He disapproved aristotle's theory that heavy objects faller down faster than lighter objects. His biggest discoveries came when he turned his curiosity towards the sky. In 1609 galileo head about an invention from the netherland called the telescope. A telescope uses glass lenses to make things appear closer. He decided to build his own telescope. He figured out how they worked and grinded glass to make lenses that were more and more powerful. He began to study the sky and found out that the moon's surface was rough and uneven and he discovered four of the moons that travel around jupiter. He also observed the planet venus to the naked eye venus looks like a bright star. He also saw that the moon and the planet venus go through phases like for example the moon went from a full moon to a small moon and the planet venus went from light to dark colors. He proved aristotle wrong because aristotle thought that the moon was flat but that was wrong. Aristotle also said that earth was the center of motion in the universe. Galileo saw moons around jupiter. Aristotle believed that venus and other planets traveled around the earth. Galileo saw that the phases of venus made it prove that it travels around the sun. Galileo's discoveries supported the Copernican heliocentric theory and led him to conflict with the catholic church. The church leaders said that his theory were wrong and dangerous because they did not believe that the sun was the center they believed that the earth was the center which ruins their religious beliefs. Church officials feared of his teachings because people might doubt the church's teachings so in 1616 the church warned Galileo not to teach the Copernican theory. He refused but then in 1632 he published a book called Dialogue on the two chief World Systems the book described the the theories about Ptolemy and Copernicus. The church's opposition could not stop the spread of his ideas . Many scientist read his book and the book helped convert many to the Copernican theory. His study of motion also advanced the scientific revolution. His theory of motion describes how objects move on earth. This is how working on another person's theory can lead to a big discovery.

Isaac Newton with his Theories

Picture of Isaac Newton

Isaac newton was born in England in 1642 the same year Galileo died. He was a great scientist and mathematician and one of his greatest discovery was the law of gravity. He was trying to figure out what kept the moon traveling in its orbits around the earth. Then newton saw an apple fall of the tree and hit the ground. He realized that when objects fall down they fall down the center of the earth. So he wondered does the same thing happen to the moon. The difference was that the moon was far away so the moon just had the force to turn in ovals around the earth unlike the apple. He started the law of gravity in a simple formula it was that all physical objects have a force between them. The force depends on the mass and distance between them. In contrast, an apple has a small amount of mass compared to the earth and is very close to earth so gravity pulls it toward earth's center. In 1687 newton published a book known as the Principia it presented the law of gravity.It also described the three laws of motion. His laws provided explanations of what earlier scientist had observed. For example other scientist theories showed that the planets moved around the sun and newton wrote the why part. Just as the gravity kept the moon traveling around earth, it kept the planets traveling around the sun. His laws changed peoples views of the universe. Many people began to see the universe as a beautiful designed machine. Some compared it to other well built things in the world such as a clock.

Inventions during the Scientific Revolution


There were many inventions during the scientific revolution that helped study the earth. One was the microscope these were used for to make small objects to look bigger it was invented by dutch lens. He also became the first person to see bacteria. Another invention was the telescope. This invention let you see what is in space like for example you could see the moon with this and Galileo made this. Another important invention was the barometer. The barometer measures changes in the pressure of the atmosphere. Evangelist Torricelli invented the barometer in the 1640s. He filled a glass tube with liquid metal called mercury. Then he put it upside down and saw that it went high and low. The last important invention during the scientific revolution was the thermometer. Galileo most likely made the first thermometer in the early 1700 however German scientist Daniel Gabriel made thermometers more accurate. Galileo put mercury in a glass tube but he did not flip it and it showed the measure of heat and cold in Fahrenheit.

The Scientific Method

A key outcome of the scientific evolution was the development of the scientific method. The scientific method is a step by step method of investigation involving observation and theory to test scientific assumptions. The two philosophers who influenced this development were Francis Bacon and Rene Descartes. Francis said that people could gain knowledge only if they rid their minds of false beliefs. Overtime scientist developed this approach to the scientific method. The steps are

The five steps

Galileo's demonstration with falling objects shows how this method works. He wondered if objects of different weights falled down at the same speed. Then he made a hypothesis and tested it out. He dropped a heavy and light ball at the same height to see the results. The results were that they landed at the same time this showed that his hypothesis was correct. Scientist still use this basic method today. An advantage is that any trained scientist can repeat what another has done. This lets scientist test each other ideas.

The Enlightenment

The enlightenment was a period from the late 1600s to the late 1700s in Europe, in which people changed their outlook on life by seeing reason as the key to human progress. The enlightenment thinkers made a major break with the past. Enlightenment thinking grew out of the scientific revolution. The thinkers of enlightenment wanted to approach the human life experience.

How the enlightenment was in the renaissance and reformation?

The enlightenment also had roost in the renaissance and reformation. The humanist of these periods questioned accepted beliefs. They celebrated the dignity and worth of an individual's. During the reformation protestants rebelled against the catholic church. Enlightenment thinkers went even further in rejecting authority and upholding the freedom of individuals to think for themselves.

Influences and Ideas of the Enlightenment

Many thinkers during the enlightenment were inspired by classical culture. Christian ideas also influenced enlightenment thinking. Enlightenment philosophers preferred rational thought to faith based on the bible. All of the thinkers of the enlightenment prized reason over authority.Everything they said must be re examined in the light of reason. For example christian faith was largely on trust in the bible but the enlightenment thinkers believed that humans were perfectly able to discover truth for themselves.Some people even questioned the existence of god. The thinkers believed that no need to belief in god on revelations. Enlightenment thinkers also criticized and accepted ideas about the government. Other questioned the long held belief that God gave monarchs the right to rule. Many people said that governments must be respected individual rights. Then toward the end of the 18th century these ideas played a major role in revolutions in both america and France.

Thomas Hobbes

Picture of Thomas Hobbes

Thomas Hobbes was born in England in 1588. He wrote about many subjects including politics and government. He studied at Oxford university. When he was an adult he traveled to other European countries, where he met many writers, scientist, and philosophers. He studied mathematics and science, as well as history and government. Hobbes thinking about the society was greatly influenced by events in England in the mid 1600s. King Charles I was struggling for power at that time. Then in 1642 the civil war broke out between supporters of the parliament and monarchs and Hobbes sided with the king. Because of these years Hobbes asked what is the basis of social order. He tried to answer his question by getting observations from the human nature. He personally thought that human beings were cruel, selfish,and greedy. Then in 1651 he wrote a book called Leviathan.In this book, he wrote that people are driven by a restless desire for power. Without laws or other social controls people would always be in conflict. Hobbes said that governments were created to protect people from their own selfishness because people were selfish by nature. He also said that you need a government that has a ruler that has absolute authority so he could maintain an orderly society. Finally later enlightenment thinkers came to a different conclusion about human nature and the best form of government.Thomas Hobbes basically argued that kings should have absolute power.

John Locke

John Locke was born in England in 1632. He made a major impact on the enlightenment by thinking about government and peoples rights. Lock wanted constitutional monarchy. Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which the monarch's power is limited by as basic set of laws.His ideas reflected a tradition of limitation on the English monarchy. Then at the year 1215 English nobles forced King John to sign the Magna Cart. Magna cart was basically that even monarchs had to obey English laws and respect certain individual rights. Later parliament became the main check on the monarch's power. During a war in the 1640s Locke's father fought on the side of the parliament. This influenced Locke about his father's beliefs. Then in the 1680 there was another crisis and it was that the new king was James II and he was catholic. So all of the king's enemies in England feared that he was going to put all the Catholics in power. So then in 1689 they made him flee or go away from the country so the king's crown went to James protestant daughter Mary and her husband William. Parliament also passed a bill of rights its basically a list of basic human rights that a government must protect. The bill of rights strengthens the power of the parliament as the representatives of the people. It had so many individual rights and one was that you could get protection in court cases from excessive fines and etc. Lock approve of these changes in England. Then in 1609 he published Two Treatises of Government. In this book, he basically offered a theory of government that justified Parliament's actions. He denied the divine right of monarchs to rule. He believed that the true basis of government was a social contract or agreement ,among,free people. This agreement protects the natural rights. The people agreed to give the government to rule on their behalf. If the government failed to respect people's rights it basically broke the contract and could be overthrown.

The Famous Thinker Charles-Louis de Secondat

Picture of Charles-Louis de Secondat

Charles-Louis de secondat was born in France in 1689. He is mostly better known for Baron de Montesquieu. He attended a catholic school. Then he became a lawyer. When his uncle died in 1761 he inherited the title baron along with his uncle's fortune. Then he became the president of the local parliament. Finally in 1721 he achieved fame as a writer with a book called Persian Letters. This book basically described the french society. It also used humor to scrutinize french institutions. His most famous book was called The Spirit of Laws he published it in 1748. In this book he basically described his theory of how governments should be ruled. Montesquieu’s was also concerned like Locke about how to protect the political liberty. He said the best way to do this was by dividing power among three government branches. The legislative branch made the laws.Then the executive branch enforces the laws. Finally the judicial branch interprets laws. This made no one more powerful and it was called the separation of powers. He did not want to much power in one hand, which is called despotism. Charles ideas had a powerful impact on the later thinkers and the us constitution has the separation of powers in it.

Cesare Beccaria

Picture of Cesare Beccaria

Beccaria was born in Milan ,Italy, in 1738. He was a pioneer. His work stressed the rights of accused people to fair treatment. His son also went to a catholic school where he received a degree in law from the university of Pavia. When he finished his studies, he returned to Milan. There he was caught in the excitement of the enlightenment. Then in 1763 Beccaria began a study of the justice system. Torture was often used for information and he did not like that. Sometimes they used thumbscrews to crush people's thumbs. Sometimes they even got their body stretched on a device called rack they would do this until their joints were apart. Judges were often corrupt. He attacked these practices in a famous book called On Crimes and Punishments . He basically argued that laws exist to preserve security and order. He also said that for crimes the punishments should not be that brutal. Torture should never be used. He said it was also wrong for to punish some people harshly for the same crime. He also believed that punishments of death should be permanently banned forever. Today in the us many laws concerning crime and punishments reflect his ideas.

How the government impacted the enlightenment

A little bit of the monarchs tries to apply enlightenment ideas in the 1700s. Frederick the Great of Prussia,Catherine the Great of Russia, and Joseph II of Australia are known as the enlightened despots. This means to be kind or do good for other people. Monarchs founded universities and scientific societies. These rulers pushed changes only so far that they'd not want to anger the noble classes and did not want to lose power.

The revolutions

The ideas of enlightenment greatly influenced leaders of the American revolution. Many English colonies shared the tradition of Magna Carta. The us constitution also contains ideas from the enlightenment, such as Montesquieu's idea of separation of powers the bill of rights protects the freedom of religion and speech.

Women of the enlightenment

The woman during the enlightenment did not have the same rights as men, but some women played an important role. One important woman was Abigail Adams this is because she firmly supported america's struggles for independence from England. She was the wife of John Adams the leader of the American revolution and the second US president. She reminded John not to forget about women's rights in the new American government. She also spoke out on woman rights to education. Another important women was Mary Wollstonecraft. She was an English writer she struggled to gain equal rights for women. In an essay published in 1792 she argued that women also deserve the same rights and opportunities as men. She believed that education was the key to gaining equality and freedom. Then in the 19th century her ideas about human rights inspired women's rights in the United States.



Created with images by Arenamontanus - "Copernicus" • stemark44 - "galileo statue florence" • dullhunk - "Isaac Newton by Eduardo Paolozzi" • Arenamontanus - "Microscope" • Stifts- och landsbiblioteket i Skara - "Thomas Hobbes" • Stifts- och landsbiblioteket i Skara - "Charles de Secondat" • Biblioteca Rector Machado y Nuñez - "24002"

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