Free Essay

World History

In: English and Literature

Submitted By jasmyn1998
Words 7624
Pages 31
|Objectives | |
|By the end of this lesson, students will be able to: | |
|describe the scientific method and its effect on Western Europe | |
|distinguish between the scientists Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Newton, and Harvey and their works | |
|compare the political theories of Hobbes and Locke | |
|explain how science and philosophy influenced one another during the Enlightenment | |
|explain the term enlightened despot, using the model of Frederick II of Prussia | |
|Click here for the course glossary | |
|Click here for a Timeline of The Enlightenment and Scientific Revolution | |
|This lesson discusses European society between 1600 and 1800--an era marked by the power of ideas and rational | |
|thinking. The term Scientific Revolution is used to describe the growing acceptance and influence of the scientific| |
|method and the belief that reason and inquiry can explain and even change the world. The term Enlightenment is | |
|perhaps a more accurate name for this period because it incorporates a variety of intellectual movements that today| |
|we do not consider sciences: philosophy, theology, economics, history, and political theory. | |
|The word scientist did not yet exist in the 1600s. The word science meant no more thanknowledge. For instance, | |
|Isaac Newton is known today for explaining the theory of gravity, explaining optics, and developing calculus. He is| |
|considered one of the greatest scientists in history. Newton, however, called himself a natural philosopher. He saw| |
|all scientific work as part of rational philosophy. | |
|The ideas of this period had and still have great power. The next five lessons will explore the political and | |
|revolutionary impact the Enlightenment had on Europe and the rest of the world. Even today we are living in the | |
|legacy of the Enlightenment. | |
|The Scientific Method | |
|Today the scientific method is understood as a series of five steps that can be repeated continuously. | |
|Observation of phenomena: a scientist observes something that happens and forms a question about it. | |
|Creation of a hypothesis: a scientist thinks up a general explanation that could account for the observed | |
|phenomena. | |
|Prediction of an unobserved event based on the explanation: a scientist deduces from the hypothesis another event | |
|that would occur if the explanation were always true. | |
|Testing of the event: a scientist develops a test that measures the accuracy of the prediction. Often the test | |
|involves an experiment to see if the predicted event actually occurs. The scientist needs to collect data to | |
|evaluate the test. | |
|Conclusion and reassessment of the hypothesis: if the predicted event did not occur, the scientist must either | |
|modify or abandon the hypothesis. If the predicted event occurred, a scientist takes this confirmation as evidence | |
|that the hypothesis is true. | |
|These steps are to be repeated again and again. Conclusions, therefore, are always subject to further testing and | |
|modification. Since the scientific method is a cyclical process, the process never ends. After conclusions are | |
|drawn, new questions almost always arise, starting the cycle over. The conclusion could be refined, changed, or | |
|discarded based on new experiments. | |
|A hypothesis is scientific if it is testable and can be proven true or false. The Greek word for test or try is | |
|empeira. Using this method of tests or experiments is therefore calledempiricism. Any theory or result that can be | |
|tested is called empirical. | |
|Although historians often credit Enlightenment thinkers with the scientific method, a similar experimental method | |
|was in use during the Middle Ages. For instance, Robert Grosseteste and his pupil Roger Bacon explained and used | |
|such methods in England around 1200. Furthermore, some doctors and philosophers in the ancient world used similar | |
|methods. Does the Scientific Revolution really start back then instead of around 1600? | |
|There is some evidence in support of an early start for the Scientific Revolution. The Middle Ages was full of | |
|scientific learning and advancements. Inventions, such as the stirrup and field rotation, relied on some form of | |
|experimentation, and both inventions made society more efficient. Also during the Middle Ages, people eagerly | |
|adopted many earlier inventions that were neglected or unknown to the Roman world: wind and water mills, paper, the| |
|printing press, guns, and cannons. All of these innovations spread rapidly throughout Europe and the surrounding | |
|areas. All of these innovations, however, were different from the developments starting in the 1600s. | |
|In the 1600s, however, thinkers began using new and different hypotheses. The Scientific Revolution constitutes a | |
|break from the Middle Ages in four significant ways. Unlike the natural philosophers of the Middle Ages, | |
|Enlightenment scholars: | |
|emphasized universal laws, | |
|relied on mathematics and mathematical formulas, | |
|benefited from several new and important technologies, and | |
|benefited from a society that was more open to the questioning of authority. | |
|[pic]An engraving from an early math book shows the superiority of Arabic numerals. The picture shows a duel | |
|between the Greek Pythagoras calculating using an abacus and the Medieval philosopher Boethius using the new Arabic| |
|numerals. Gregor Reisch, Margarita Philosophica, vol. IV (1508). | |
|Here is how these four points converged at the end of the Middle Ages and resulted in the Scientific Revolution. | |
|Around the 1600s, thinkers began basing their theories more on universal physical laws, rather than supernatural, | |
|religious, or philosophic ideas. For example, the movement of the planets had been explained as the actions of the | |
|Roman god Mars, the complete perfection of the heavens, or proof of God's power. During the Scientific Revolution, | |
|these explanations were dismissed as scientists developed theories and laws about gravity. | |
|These new laws relied heavily on mathematics. The largest factor in Europe's mathematical revolution was the use of| |
|Arabic numerals and mathematics during the 1200s (the late Middle Ages). The use of the Arabic decimal system made | |
|writing, reading, and calculating numbers much easier than earlier systems like Roman numerals. However, though | |
|they were introduced in the Middle Ages, Arabic numerals did not become the standard in Europe until their use in | |
|printing at the end of the 1400s. Also contributing to Europe's mathematical renaissance was the rediscovery of | |
|Greek mathematicians like Euclid and Archimedes. | |
|The steps in the scientific method require accurate measurement. More precisely, the tools available for accurate | |
|measurement limit the types of problems a scientist can investigate and the kinds of hypotheses a scientist will be| |
|able to test. | |
|During the 1600s, advances in polishing glass led to inventions like the telescope and microscope. Astronomy was | |
|therefore able to advance quickly, thanks to the ability to make accurate observations with telescopes and record | |
|these observations in the new number system. | |
|[pic]These are Copernicus's mathematical observations which supported his theory that the earth revolved around the| |
|sun. This image is from a manuscript in Copernicus's own handwriting. | |
|There were obstacles to the widespread use of the scientific method: the strictness of society and the appeal to | |
|authority. Many thinkers of the late Middle Ages followed traditional authorities such as the Bible, early writings| |
|of church leaders, and the works of the Greek philosopher Aristotle (because his writings supported the teachings | |
|of the church). To most thinkers of the Middle Ages, experimentation was unnecessary. | |
|Lesson 1 described how Renaissance and Reformation scholars challenged the authority of the church. At the same | |
|time, newly rediscovered and printed Greek manuscripts made it clear that other Greek and Roman philosophers | |
|disagreed with Aristotle. In the 1600s, the time was right for questioning authority, performing experiments, and | |
|trusting in the scientific method. | |
|[pic]Vesalius's anatomy book had extremely accurate and beautifully done engravings of the entire body, showing | |
|each stage of dissection. | |
|Medicine and Anatomy | |
|During the Middle Ages, European medicine relied on the study of ancient authorities, such as the writings of Greek| |
|doctors Hippocrates and Galen. Although both Greeks made advances and careful observations in their day, neither of| |
|them practiced dissection. As a result, their theories about many illnesses were completely incorrect. | |
|In 1543, Andreas Vesalius publishedThe Structure of the Human Anatomy, a beautifully illustrated book on the human | |
|body. The benefits of observation and dissection were made clear because Vesalius's work showed how Galen (and | |
|therefore all university teaching in Europe) was incorrect about many structures of the body. Vesalius became | |
|famous and was eventually appointed the court physician to the Hapsburg emperors Charles V and his son Philip II of| |
|Spain. | |
|Despite Vesalius's success, dissections of human corpses remained objectionable to secular and church authorities. | |
|In fact, as recently as 19th century, medical students had to steal buried corpses or use the bodies of executed | |
|criminals. | |
|Despite the views of religious authorities, Enlightenment scholars continued to use experimentation and dissection | |
|to carry knowledge further. Surprisingly, neither Galen nor Medieval medicine knew that veins and arteries both | |
|held blood. In 1628, William Harvey showed how the heart functioned as a pump. It pulled blood in from the veins | |
|and pumped them out to the arteries. Without a microscope to see the capillaries (very small blood vessels), it was| |
|difficult to show that blood from arteries returned to veins. These discoveries were controversial, but gradually | |
|became accepted by the medical community. This new knowledge about the circulatory system did not, however, stop | |
|the dangerous practice of bloodletting. Throughout history, doctors had tried to cure diseases by draining "bad" | |
|blood from sick patients. This dangerous practice continued for another century. | |
|[pic]This diagram from Harvey's work shows that blood in the veins flows only toward the heart. He tied a | |
|tourniquet on an arm to make the veins and their valves clear. Then he pressed blood away from the heart and showed| |
|that the vein would remain empty because valves prevent it from flowing the other way. | |
|Even after dissections and experiments added a wealth of knowledge about the human body, medicine remained | |
|primitive for many years. During the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s, doctors performed surgery in non-sterile | |
|conditions, completely unaware of the germ theory of disease. In many ways, their practices did not dramatically | |
|differ from the case studies of ancient Greek doctors. Despite evidence of their inaccuracy, American and European | |
|doctors read and studied the works of Hippocrates and Galen well into the 19th century. | |
|[pic]In this diagram of Ptolemy's system of epicycles, the planet Jupiter rotates in a circle around a point which | |
|rotates around a point that rotates closer around the earth. This erroneous system accounted for most of the | |
|observed data about the planets. The system was created in order to make the Earth the center of the universe and | |
|to preserve heavenly perfection of perfect circles. | |
|Astronomy: Copernicus, Galileo, and Kepler | |
|In 1543, the same year that Vesalius published his book of anatomy, Copernicus published his book on the | |
|heliocentric theory, De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (or On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres). In this | |
|book, Copernicus sought to prove that the Earth revolved around the Sun, even though most people of his time | |
|thought the Sun revolved around the Earth. Although this book did not generate much controversy when it was first | |
|published, it eventually became the center of the debate between the old world and the new science. | |
|During the Middle Ages, the state of the world and mankind was thought to be directly controlled by God. According | |
|to this idea, the heavens were perfect, and so was the order of the world below (popes, bishops, kings, nobles, | |
|serfs). Entrenched powers felt that questions about the perfect order of the heavens could lead to questions about | |
|the nature of their own power. | |
|Common sense and the Bible seemed to indicate that the Sun revolved around the Earth. Every day we see it rise in | |
|the east and set in the west. It moves and we do not. Stars too seem to rise, set, and rotate around the Earth. | |
|The idea that the heavens above Earth were perfect existed long before Christianity. The Greek philosopher | |
|Aristotle believed in the Earth-centered model. The Greek astronomer Ptolemy devised a system of circles within | |
|circles to describe the motion of the planets. In this system, their orbits were still around the Earth, and still | |
|consisted of perfect circles, although they were in a clumsy system that even Ptolemy did not consider elegant or | |
|accurate. Ptolemy's system could not explain why Mercury was always within 28 degrees of the Sun and why Venus was | |
|always within 47 degrees of the Sun. Still, his system was taught and approved of in Europe for over a thousand | |
|years. | |
|Copernicus's heliocentric theory was not entirely new. Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Chinese, Indian, and Greek | |
|astronomers noticed that planets moved differently from the stars. Careful observations indicated that the planets | |
|did not move in perfect circles around the Earth. | |
|[pic]This diagram shows Kepler's second law of planetary motion. As a planet orbits the sun in an ellipse, it | |
|speeds up as it gets closer to the sun. Equal areas of the ellipse are traveled by the planet in an equal amount of| |
|time. So if area B and area A are equal, then it takes the planet the same time to travel the two arcs. Therefore | |
|it is moving faster around area A (since it covers more distance in the same amount of time). | |
|Many astronomers investigated Copernicus's idea of a universe centered on the sun. In 1609 and 1619, the German | |
|Johannes Kepler published three revolutionary laws about planetary motion. First, he stated that orbits are not | |
|exact circles, but ellipses.Most planetary ellipses are very close to circles, so the diagram here is an | |
|exaggeration. However, these ellipses were a dagger in the heart of the theory of heavenly perfection. | |
|Ellipses are regular mathematic forms and the laws for measuring their area were known to the ancient Greeks. | |
|Kepler connected these mathematical formulas to planetary observations.Kepler's second law stated that the motion | |
|of a planet over a fixed period of time always covers the same area of the ellipse. This law also means that the | |
|planets move faster when they are closer to the Sun. | |
|Kepler's third law was even more complex and a clever use of mathematics. It compared the orbits of two planets, | |
|specifically the time it takes them to orbit the Sun and the planets' average distance from the sun. He showed that| |
|the cube of the ratio of their years (time to orbit the sun) equals the cube of the ratio of their distances from | |
|the sun. It is a curious and beautiful law, but not one with immediate practical applications. Seventy years later,| |
|an even greater mathematical genius, Isaac Newton, would explain that law and many other mysteries of the universe.| |
|[pic]As Kepler published his laws of planetary motion, an Italian professor named Galileo Galilei invented the | |
|first telescope. Within a few years, Galileo made discoveries that supported claims regarding the not-quite-perfect| |
|nature of the heavens. | |
|Galileo's telescope allowed him to see craters and mountains on the moon. He saw sunspots, which blemished the | |
|supposed perfection of the Sun. He discovered four moons orbiting Jupiter--which further proved that not everything| |
|orbited the Earth. He also showed that the brightness and phases of the planet Venus were consistent with | |
|Copernicus's heliocentric system but not with a system that had Earth as its center. | |
|Here is Galileo's description of the moon and the Milky Way observed with a telescope. Notice how Galileo uses the | |
|word philosophers to refer to people we would call scientists: | |
|The moon is not perfectly smooth, free from inequalities, and exactly spherical, as a large school of philosophers | |
|considers with regard to the moon and the other heavenly bodies. On the contrary, it is full of inequalities, | |
|uneven, full of hollows and bulges, just like the surface of the earth itself, which is varied everywhere by lofty | |
|mountains and deep valleys... | |
| | |
|The next object which I have observed is the essence or substance of the Milky Way. By the aid of a telescope, | |
|anyone may behold this in a manner which so distinctly appeals to the senses that all the disputes which have | |
|tormented philosophers through so many ages are exploded by the irrefutable evidence of our eyes, and we are freed | |
|from wordy disputes upon the subject. For the galaxy is nothing else but a mass of innumerable stars planted | |
|together in clusters. Upon whatever part of it you direct the telescope, at once a vast crowd of stars presents | |
|itself to view. Many of them are rather large and extremely bright, but the number of small ones is quite beyond | |
|determination. | |
|Galileo Galilei The Starry Messenger 1610 | |
|Galileo's observations of the heavens were part of a larger agenda; he hoped to discover a rational account of all | |
|motion. Eventually, his work would form the basis for what we call physics today. Galileo discovered inertia, the | |
|idea that bodies at rest will remain at rest and bodies in motion will remain in motion until another force | |
|interacts with them. If you throw an object, it will keep going forever, unless another force interacts with it. On| |
|Earth, gravity and friction from the air would stop a thrown object relatively quickly, but this is not the case in| |
|outer space. Galileo therefore showed that Aristotle was wrong about the basic facts of motion. | |
|Galileo also discovered mathematical rules about physics. Many of his experiments were with objects subjected to a | |
|constant force (such as gravity). He showed that the total distance covered by a falling object, starting from | |
|rest, is proportional to the square of the time falling. Galileo's measurements and mathematical laws (and Kepler's| |
|too) show the importance of mathematics to the new sciences. | |
|The Catholic Church did not tolerate Galileo's open acceptance of Copernicus's theories.Both Catholic and | |
|Protestant church authorities banned books that advocated heliocentric systems, and occasionally they advocated | |
|burning the authors alive as heretics. In 1616, the Inquisition forbade Galileo from holding or advocating the | |
|heliocentric theory. However, in 1623, Galileo thought that these terms would allow him to write a treatise | |
|discussing both systems, especially since the new pope was one of his personal friends. | |
|Galileo was wrong. The pope's Inquisition summoned the 69 year-old man to Rome, where he was shown the instruments | |
|of torture. The burning alive of Giordano Bruno in 1600 for teaching unofficial doctrine about the heavens was | |
|already a clear warning. Galileo confessed, admitted his mistakes, and was sentenced to life imprisonment. He lived| |
|out the last nine years of his life under house arrest, forbidden to meet people socially or to publish. | |
|Isaac Newton and the Royal Society | |
|Histories of science and technology tend to be discussions of singular genius: one person who is a giant in a field| |
|of research or in many fields. However, a genius needs a receptive environment, as the fate of Galileo shows. | |
|In the 1640s, a group of people got together in London to discuss new scientific discoveries. We can see that the | |
|terms science, scientist, and scientific were not yet invented, because the group had difficulty describing exactly| |
|what they were discussing. The closest words, philosophy or even natural philosophy, were too inclusive. So they | |
|said that they would study everything except for religion and politics. In 1662, this group was officially | |
|incorporated as the Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, or simply "the Royal Society." | |
|Here is a description by an eyewitness of the first meetings of the group. Note that he refers to the ban on | |
|religion and politics (theology and the affairs of state): | |
|About the year 1645, while I lived in London,...I had the opportunity of being acquainted with diverse worthy | |
|persons, inquisitive into natural philosophy, and other parts of human learning; and particularly of what has been | |
|called theNew Philosophy, or Experimental Philosophy. We did...meet weekly in London on a certain day, to treat and| |
|discourse of such affairs...Our business was (precluding matters of theology and state affairs), to discourse and | |
|consider ofPhilosophical Enquiries, and such as related thereunto: as physic, anatomy, geometry, astronomy, | |
|navigation, statics, magnetics, chemics, mechanics, and natural experiments; with the state of these studies, as | |
|then cultivated at home and abroad. We then discoursed of the circulation of the blood, the valves in the veins, | |
|the venae lactae, the lymphatic vessels, the Copernican hypothesis, the nature of comets and new stars, the | |
|satellites of Jupiter, the oval shape (as it then appeared) of Saturn, the spots in the sun, and its turning on its| |
|own axis, the inequalities and selenography of the moon, the several phases of Venus and Mercury, the improvement | |
|of telescopes, and grinding of glasses for that purpose, the weight of air, the possibility, or impossibility of | |
|vacuities, and nature's abhorrence thereof, the Torricellian experiment in quicksilver, the descent of heavy | |
|bodies, and the degrees of acceleration therein; and diverse other things of like nature. Some of which were then | |
|but new discoveries, and others not so generally known and embraced, as now they are, with other things | |
|appertaining to what has been called The New Philosophy. | |
|from John Wallis, Account of Some Passages of his Life, 1700. Charles W. Colby, ed., Selections from the Sources of| |
|English History, (London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1920), pp. 196-199. | |
|It is clear that these scholars had a variety of interests. From antiquity up until the 20th century, it was | |
|possible for an educated person to follow advances in many if not all branches of science. Note that many of these | |
|topics were Galileo's discoveries (the satellites of Jupiter, the shape of Saturn, sunspots, the phases of Venus, | |
|and the acceleration of heavy bodies). | |
|Around the same time that the Royal Society first met, Isaac Newton was born in northern England. After he | |
|graduated from college in 1665, he was forced to stay at home for a couple of years because a plague struck all of | |
|England. During his time at home, Newton invented calculus and began working on the two subjects to which he would | |
|dedicate his life: optics and gravitation. | |
|Newton might never have developed his ideas and worked them out into a published form if he did not have a | |
|community of scholars in the Royal Society. He regularly presented his results to the Society and even became its | |
|president from 1703 until his death in 1727. This community did not always agree with Newton. In fact, many of his | |
|papers were responses to disputes that he had with other scholars. Newton's masterpiece, The Mathematical | |
|Principles of Natural Philosophy, was published in 1687 in part as a refutation of the French scholar René | |
|Descartes. Science is often advanced by this type of healthy competition. | |
|Newton's work on optics explained mysteries which had puzzled scholars for centuries. He explained how prisms | |
|separate white light into its component colors, and how they can restore the colors back into white light. He | |
|explained how raindrops in the air act as prisms to create a rainbow. Newton did not, however, realize that the | |
|prism effect was due to the wave-like nature of light. | |
|[pic]This is an example of interpolation in Newton'sPrincipia. By writing in Latin, Newton reached the European | |
|scientific community, but the Principia would be one of the last influential books written in that language. | |
|Although Newton had invented calculus, he preferred using geometry instead in the Principia. This method was far | |
|more difficult, but it was more generally accepted. Ironically, Archimedes had invented calculus almost 2000 years | |
|before Newton, but the manuscript with this invention was first recovered in the 1900s. Archimedes did not use | |
|calculus in his formal proofs either, but stuck to the rules of geometry. | |
|The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy is better known by its Latin title, the Principia Mathematica. | |
|Along with an explanation of prisms, the Principiaalso explained the fundamentals of physics: the laws of motion | |
|and the laws of gravity. | |
|Newton showed how the same force (gravity) controlled the orbits of the planets and moons as well as the actions of| |
|smaller objects on Earth. He also discovered that the force of gravity between two objects increases in proportion | |
|to their mass. The power of gravity grows weaker depending on the square of the distance between the two objects. | |
|This formula provided the answer to the 70 year-old mystery of Kepler's third law of planetary motion. | |
|The Principia was seen by scholars and intellectuals in Newton's day as proof of the scientific method. The world, | |
|it seemed, could be accurately and beautifully described with mathematics. The descriptions could be tested and | |
|proved by observation and experiment. | |
|Although Newton is now considered one of the greatest scientists in history, it is useful to remember that his life| |
|was not exclusively devoted to rational science. Newton and Kepler both shared a mathematical fascination with | |
|mysticism and numerology (although Newton was careful to keep it separate from his scientific publications). | |
|Newton also had a lifelong interest in alchemy, the almost magical art of chemical transformations. Many of his | |
|papers reveal his belief in magic and the occult. Although we now know that alchemy and magic were not productive | |
|avenues of research, the division between them and science was not so clear in Newton's day. Think about the idea | |
|of gravity--a mysterious, invisible force that exists everywhere. It affects small and large bodies on earth and | |
|keeps planets in motion. It is inescapable, yet we barely notice it. This powerful force of gravity could easily | |
|seem like a form of magic. | |
|Enlightenment Philosophers | |
|The dividing line between scientific inquiry and other types of knowledge remains unclear even today. For example, | |
|consider history. The study of history today combines a scientific concern (with measurable, verifiable data) and | |
|philosophical questions of value and importance. As scientists like Kepler and Newton demonstrated the power of | |
|rationality, a whole generation of thinkers became eager to use such methods in their own fields of knowledge. | |
|Lesson 1 discussed how Erasmus applied the scientific method to the study of religion. He examined different | |
|manuscripts of the Bible and used reason to compare them. During the Enlightenment, ambitious scholars and | |
|mathematicians were trying to use reason to prove the existence of God, the superiority of the Christian faith, and| |
|the meaning of human existence. The French mathematicians and philosophers Blaise Pascal and René Descartes are two| |
|notable examples. | |
|In the following passage, Descartes uses reason to try to answer two of the central problems of philosophy: the | |
|nature of existence and whether anything about existence can be known. | |
|I thought that...I ought to reject as absolutely false all opinions where I could suppose the least ground for | |
|doubt, in order to determine whether, after that, there remained anything in my belief that was completely certain.| |
|So, seeing that our senses sometimes deceive us, I was willing to suppose that nothing really existed as our senses| |
|presented to us. And because some men make mistakes in reasoning, and fall into error, even on the simplest matters| |
|of geometry, I, convinced that I was as open to error as any other, rejected as false all the reasonings I had | |
|accepted as proofs. Finally, when I considered that the very same thoughts which we experience when awake may also | |
|be experienced when we are asleep, while there is at that time not one of them true, I supposed that all the | |
|thoughts that had ever entered into my mind when awake, had in them no more truth than the illusions of my dreams. | |
|But immediately upon this I observed that, while I wished to think that all was false, it was absolutely necessary | |
|that I, who thought that way, should nevertheless exist. And as I observed that this truth, "I think, therefore I | |
|am" [in Latin: COGITO ERGO SUM], was so certain and of such evidence that no ground of doubt, however extravagant, | |
|could be alleged by the skeptics capable of shaking it, I concluded that I might, without hesitation, accept it as | |
|the first principle of the philosophy I was looking for. | |
|René Descartes, Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting Reason and Seeking Truth in the Sciences, Part IV. | |
| | |
|Descartes points out that our senses can deceive us, so we cannot rely on them. He points out that our reason can | |
|deceive us, so we cannot rely on it. And our thoughts deceive us, so we cannot trust them. How so? Thoughts deceive| |
|us, for example, in dreams, or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. How can one know if the world we are | |
|experiencing now is not a dream or a fake creation? The movie The Matrix (1999) was based on this premise. | |
|Note that Descartes is arguing against experience and observation, since the senses can deceive us. His philosophy | |
|contradicts the scientific method as described above. In addition, many areas of research, such as theology and | |
|moral philosophy, cannot be researched using experiments. | |
|Other writers explored the nature of human societies. They investigated the nature of government and politics. What| |
|is the best way to arrange a country? If the power of God was not needed to move the planets around, was God's hand| |
|really the force that shaped governments here on Earth? Suddenly, the divine right of kings was called into | |
|question. | |
|An English philosopher, Thomas Hobbes, proposed an answer. He started with observations of human emotions and | |
|desires and studied examples from history. After careful consideration of his many observations, he reasoned that | |
|the best and only secure form of government is the rule of an absolute monarch. Without a supreme central power, | |
|nobles and other people will constantly fight: | |
|Hereby it is manifest that during the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in | |
|that condition which is called war; and such a war as is of every man against every man....[M]en live without other| |
|security than what their own strength and their own invention shall furnish them withal. In such condition there is| |
|no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain: and consequently no culture of the earth; no | |
|navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by sea; no commodious building; no instruments of | |
|moving and removing such things as require much force; no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; | |
|no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the | |
|life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. | |
|Thomas Hobbes, The Leviathan, (1651) chapter 13. | |
|Hobbes's work was powerful and influential. It remains well argued and eloquently written--almost scientific. To | |
|summarize the above excerpt, without a powerful king to keep the peace, the life of a common man would be poor, | |
|nasty, brutish, and short. All business, all laws, all peace were thanks to an absolute monarch like Peter in | |
|Russia or Louis in France. | |
|Note that Hobbes does not say that the power of kings is based upon the will of God. Rather, the rights of kings | |
|are derived from the laws of human nature. People are, by nature, greedy and uncivilized; they need structure. | |
|Additionally, some people are naturally weaker than others; they will need the protection of those who are | |
|stronger. Certainly, it is only rational and right for the stronger to rise to the challenge. Thus, the right of | |
|kings is based partially on brute force and partially on logic and human nature. Most importantly, although Hobbes | |
|supported the right of kings, his work removed God and divine right. | |
|Another English philosopher, John Locke, questioned the idea of monarchy entirely. He argued that the power to rule| |
|did not come from God or human nature, but from the consent of the people who are ruled. Like Hobbes, Locke saw | |
|that the state of nature was dangerous and uncertain for humans. Unlike Hobbes, Locke did not see the answer in | |
|absolute monarchy, but rather the social contract. Locke argued that throughout history, humans had willingly come | |
|together and formed societies through the forging of contracts. | |
|According to Locke, nature shows that humans have the right to life, to liberty, and to property. They agree to | |
|give up some liberty and property in return for the security that a government gives them. If the government takes | |
|too much of either, humans have a right to replace the government. | |
|The reason why men enter into society, is the preservation of their property; and the end why they choose and | |
|authorize a legislative, is, that there may be laws made, and rules set, as guards and fences to the properties of | |
|all the members of the society, to limit the power, and moderate the dominion, of every part and member of the | |
|society: for since it can never be supposed to be the will of the society, that the legislative should have a power| |
|to destroy that which every one designs to secure, by entering into society, and for which the people submitted | |
|themselves to legislators of their own making; whenever the legislators endeavor to take away, and destroy the | |
|property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war| |
|with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any farther obedience, and are left to the common refuge, which | |
|God hath provided for all men, against force and violence. Whensoever therefore the legislative shall transgress | |
|this fundamental rule of society; and either by ambition, fear, folly or corruption, endeavor to grasp themselves, | |
|or put into the hands of any other, an absolute power over the lives, liberties, and estates of the people; by this| |
|breach of trust they forfeit the power the people had put into their hands for quite contrary ends, and it devolves| |
|to the people, who have a right to resume their original liberty, and, by the establishment of a new legislative, | |
|(such as they shall think fit) provide for their own safety and security, which is the end for which they are in | |
|society. | |
|John Locke, The Second Treatise on Government (1690), chapter 19, section 222. | |
|In other words, if the government tries to take away life, liberty, or property, the people have a right to depose | |
|the government. The next lesson will examine the English Civil Wars that influenced both Hobbes and Locke. The next| |
|lesson will also examine the American Revolution that was in part inspired by Locke's ideas. The intellectual | |
|impact of Locke's ideas can still be felt today in current debates about human rights and civil liberties. | |
|Voltaire and Frederick II | |
|[pic]Voltaire and the music composer Rameau, plot a new musical play. The artist has given Voltaire a mischievous | |
|grin, as though he were planning another outrage. | |
|The French writer Voltaire (the pen name of François Marie Arouet) is the last and best example of the intellectual| |
|movement of the Enlightenment. Voltaire studied problems in science and wrote and published a French summary of | |
|Newton's ideas. He wrote many history books, short novels, and plays. His contemporaries knew him as a poet and as | |
|a philosopher. | |
|Voltaire's wit and writings often got him into trouble. In 1726, at the age of 32, he made a joke at a French | |
|noble's expense. The noble, rather than condescend to confront Voltaire himself, paid some hired thugs to beat him | |
|up. Rather than arrest the people who ordered and carried out the beating, the authorities threw Voltaire in the | |
|infamous Bastille prison in Paris. This was not the first time that Voltaire's wit had landed him in jail or | |
|inspired someone to hire a mob to beat him up. | |
|To escape the oppressive environment of France, Voltaire went to England. He observed and wrote about the freer | |
|atmosphere in science and politics there. His writings about England, including material about Newton and Locke, | |
|were banned and burned in France. | |
|Voltaire also had enemies in the Catholic Church. Unlike most other Enlightenment thinkers, Voltaire did not | |
|consider himself a Christian and openly mocked established religions--Christianity in particular. He therefore | |
|spent many years in Protestant countries, where he also succeeded in offending political and religious authorities.| |
|In addition to mere mockery, Voltaire also used science to criticize organized religion, as can be seen in this | |
|entry in his Philosophical Dictionary: | |
|SECT: Every sect, in whatever sphere, is the rallying point of doubt and error. Scotist, Thomist, Realist, | |
|Nominalist, Papist, Calvinist, Molinist, Jansenist, are only pseudonyms. There are no sects in geometry; one does | |
|not speak of a Euclidian, an Archimedean. When the truth is evident, it is impossible for parties and factions to | |
|arise. Never has there been a dispute as to whether there is daylight at noon. The branch of astronomy which | |
|determines the course of the stars and the return of eclipses being once known, there is no more dispute among | |
|astronomers. In England one does not say--"I am a Newtonian, a Lockian, a Halleyan." Why? Those who have read | |
|cannot refuse their assent to the truths taught by these three great men. | |
|Voltaire, "sect," Philosophical Dictionary (1764). | |
|Voltaire's Philosophical Dictionary offers definitions with a bias and some dry humor. Here the definition of sect | |
|contrasts Christian theology and philosophical schools with pure science. Voltaire mocks denominations such as | |
|Calvinists or Catholics ('Papist') by saying that they are simply collections of doubts and errors. | |
|In 1754, Voltaire bought a house on the outskirts of Geneva, in Calvinist Switzerland. Later he bought an estate | |
|just inside the borders of France. This way he could head across the border to Switzerland in a hurry if he had to.| |
|Many of Voltaire's books were published in Switzerland or Belgium and illegally imported into France. | |
|Before going to Geneva, Voltaire accepted an invitation from Frederick II, the king of Prussia, to spend time at | |
|his court. As a young prince, Frederick II was fascinated by Enlightenment philosophy and had corresponded with | |
|Voltaire. He even wrote a reply to Machiavelli's The Prince, arguing against the amoral philosophy of that work. | |
|Frederick wrote essays and poetry in French, composed and performed music, and attempted to be a well-rounded | |
|Enlightenment intellectual. | |
|In this respect, Frederick II was similar to Peter I of Russia. Both kings gained the reputation of being | |
|enlightened despots (or "enlightened monarchs"). Both kings were impressed with the new sciences, new philosophies,| |
|and new technologies of the Enlightenment. Both kings tried to use science and business to increase their personal | |
|power and the powers of their own countries. | |
|Voltaire and Frederick II were two strong personalities and did not mesh together well. Voltaire could not hold | |
|back from his desire to make fun of authority. Frederick, despite his enlightened interests, insisted that his | |
|authority be absolute. After a few years, Voltaire left Prussia for Geneva, Switzerland. So ended the collaboration| |
|of two stock characters in Enlightenment Europe: the critical philosopher and the enlightened despot. | |
|The Growth of Prussia | |
|By the time Frederick II ascended the throne, Prussia had become an influential power both culturally and | |
|politically. This section examines Prussia's rapid and strategic rise to power. | |
|[pic]Although Frederick II mainly spoke French, Prussia was a kingdom in the East of Germany. Parts of Prussia were| |
|within the Holy Roman Empire, but large sections of it were east of the empire. As a result, the Prussian king | |
|became more independent and more powerful than the other German kingdoms. | |
|The Thirty Years' War (Lesson 3) also contributed to the growth of Prussian power and military strength. During and| |
|after the war, Prussian rulers realized that a large standing army could help them win allies and power. A | |
|"standing army" is an army that is trained and always ready. At the time, European armies were usually only called | |
|upon when needed. The relatively small Prussia could provide a skilled fighting force to the larger kingdoms of | |
|France, Sweden, Russia, Austria, or to the Holy Roman Emperor. In return for fighting others' battles, the | |
|Prussians were granted territories in the peace treaties. | |
|Frederick II's father, Frederick Wilhelm I, built up Prussia in this manner. He also made the army the center of | |
|the Prussian state. Tax collection and other branches of the government were performed by the army. Frederick | |
|Wilhelm I took pride in creating military discipline in both the army and in the government bureaucracy. Even | |
|today, Germans from Prussia have a reputation for efficiency and order. | |
|Frederick II continued his father's practices and embarked on a series of wars with surrounding powers, primarily | |
|Austria to the south. Although Frederick II's army was not always victorious, his diplomatic skills allowed him to | |
|acquire large amounts of land during the peace-making process. By the end of his reign, Prussia had become one of | |
|the great European powers. | |
|Both Frederick Wilhelm I and Frederick II wanted to achieve the prestige of Louis XIV of France and Peter I of | |
|Russia. Although the army was the center of their energies, finances, and government, they realized that the fame | |
|of the Prussian state depended on culture too. They established the Prussian Academy of Science and recruited | |
|world-famous philosophers, mathematicians, and scientists. They founded a world class library and a museum. Such | |
|achievements first established Berlin as a world capital. | |
|In some ways, Berlin was similar to the other new Enlightenment city, Saint Petersburg. Both cities housed an | |
|intellectual class very different from the inhabitants of the surrounding countryside. In Prussia, as in Russia, | |
|feudalism still dominated. Outside the capital, thousands of serfs worked the estates of nobles. Likewise, the | |
|social and political changes in both Russia and Prussia were ordered by the rulers and had minimal impact on the | |
|rest of society. Additionally, both Prussia and Russia lacked the middle class, trade, financial systems, and | |
|infrastructure of the societies they tried to imitate (the Netherlands, England, or the cities of the German | |
|Hanseatic League). | |
|The Prussian kingdom eventually became famous for both its army and its culture. In fact, a century later, Germany | |
|would be united under the Prussian king. This dual legacy of culture and warfare would cast a long shadow over | |
|united Germany and the 20th century. | |
|Lesson Recap | |
|This lesson discussed how the convergence of several key cultural and technological advancements spurred the | |
|Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment. In some ways, this era can be seen as an extension of the intellectual| |
|energies of the Renaissance. Every aspect of the world and humanity was fair game for the intellect, and not using | |
|one's intellect to address a problem was either due to fear or immaturity: | |
|"Enlightenment" is one's departure from self-imposed (intellectual, philosophical and spiritual) immaturity. This | |
|immaturity can be defined as the inability to use one's own intellect without the direction of another. It is | |
|self-imposed if its cause is not the lack of intelligence or education, but lack of determination and courage to | |
|think without the direction of another. "Sapere aude! Have the courage to use your own intellect!" is therefore the| |
|motto of the Enlightenment. | |
|Immanuel Kant, An Answer to the Question: What is Enlightenment? (1783). | |
|During previous times of change and discovery, scholars who questioned the basic nature of society and the universe| |
|found themselves on the wrong side of church officials and political leaders. Those trying to champion new ideas | |
|that the church didn't like might be imprisoned, like Galileo, or tortured and killed, like Bruno. | |
|As the above quote suggests, the Enlightenment was much more intellectually free than previous eras. It was | |
|characterized by a broad spirit of inquiry and healthy intellectual competition. The Royal Society, for instance, | |
|could never have existed during the Middle Ages. The fact that Newton was celebrated, rather than condemned, also | |
|signifies a cultural change from the Middle Ages. | |
|Despite the freedom of the Enlightenment, scholars bucked the established powers at their own peril. Voltaire was | |
|not the only Enlightenment thinker jailed for annoying powerful nobles. Though Frederick II and Peter I initially | |
|welcomed Enlightenment scholars to their courts, the pleasant relationship between them evaporated when those | |
|scholars challenged the basis of the rule of kings. The tension between the intellectual elite, the middle class, | |
|and the powerful aristocracy are documented in the next several lessons. | |
|Click here for a Timeline of The Enlightenment and Scientific Revolution | |
|Questions for Essays and Discussion | |
|At least one of the following essay questions will appear in the submission for this lesson. | |
|1. Why did religious and political authorities find the heliocentric model of the universe to be so objectionable? | |
| | |
|2. What are the five steps in the scientific method? | |
|3. Why did most Medieval philosophers and scientists feel that experimentation was unnecessary? | |
|4. Compare and contrast the careers of Galileo Galilei and Isaac Newton. What discoveries did each make? How were | |
|their methods similar or different? How were both received by the religious and political authorities of the day? A| |
|complete answer will include an assessment of the political and cultural climate in which each thinker lived. | |
| | |
|5. Explain how the Scientific Revolution influenced Enlightenment thinkers in other disciplines. You should mention| |
|at least two of the following thinkers and topics: divine right of kings, empiricism, Vesalius, Descartes, Hobbes, | |
|or Voltaire. | |
|Further Reading |
|I. Kramnick, ed., The Portable Enlightenment Reader, Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin, 1995. |
|J. I. Israel, Radical Enlightenment: Philosophy and the Making of Modernity 1650-1750, NY: Oxford University Press, USA, 2002. |
|T. L. Hankins, Science and the Enlightenment, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1985. |
|J. Henry, The Scientific Revolution and the Origins of Modern Science, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002. |
|K. Ferguson, Tycho and Kepler: The Unlikely Partnership That Forever Changed Our Understanding of the Heavens, NY: Walker & Co., |
|2004. |
|G. Ritter, Frederick the Great: A Historical Profile, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1975. |
|R. Pearson, Voltaire Almighty: A Life in Pursuit of Freedom, NY: Bloomsbury USA, 2005. |
|Click here for the course glossary |
|Click here for course timelines |

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

World History

...you write the History of the World? The history of the world is a very broad and extremely extensive topic to cover. There are literally endless amounts of information that one could write about for a world history coarse or textbook. Where one starts amidst the vast sea of our worlds history is a large part of where the coarse or text will go. For a coarse such as this one, based on modern world history with the emphasis on war and environmental and technical change we cannot start too far back on a timeline because otherwise we will never reach the modern history. As a starting point the middle ages works well because it gives us a slight background of the ancient worlds but is a very transitional time. Spending a short amount of time in the Middle Ages focusing mainly on the crusades and the kings of England and their reigns to get the reader or student interested. After discussing the middle ages, we would move on the exploration and colonization of the rest of the world. This is a major point and a larger amount of time should be placed here because first off there is much to cover with the Columbus discovery of north America followed by the sea route to India. Also because these are extremely important times because they are basically the start of the western world we know today. Around the same time period we have the war of the Roses followed by the Elizabethan age in Britain. Also, since it is world history and not simply western world history, there......

Words: 575 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

World History

...Mahatma Gandhi describes western civilization as a force in the world that even though can be seen as a great idea is essentially everything that’s wrong with the modern world. Gandhi gives the notion that the more people give in to the culture of western civilizations the more they give up on what truly makes humans human. Gandhi states the difference between cultures when he states, “But from the present civilization, or, rather, from western civilization, there flow two propositions which have almost become maxims to live by I call them fallacious maxims. They are might is right and survival of the fittest. Those who have propounded these two maxims have given a meaning to them. I am not going into the meaning that might be attached in our minds to them, but they have said undoubtedly, by saying “might is right”, that physical might is right, that physical strength is right and supreme. Some of them have also combined intellectual strength with physical strength, but I would replace both these with heart-strength, and I say that nobody with merely physical might and intellectual might can ever enjoy that strength that can proceed from the heart. It never can be that mere intellectual or mere physical strength can ever supersede the heart-strength or, as Ruskin would say, social affections. A quickening and quickened soul responds only to the springs of the heart. To Gandhi the difference between western and eastern is that It appears that western civilization is......

Words: 535 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

World History

...Makiyah Mcgruder Mr. Stevens World history 9th grade 3/3/14 The Armenian Genocide Part 1 The Armenian genocide went on for nearly an Olympiad. More than 1.2 million Armenian people were killed in Turkey from the year 1914 to 1918. The Armenians were killed by the Ottoman Turkish government, to terminate the racial, religious minority. This was the first of many genocides of the 20th century. The men were shot and killed. Women and children were involuntarily evacuated from their homelands, and made to walk until they kicked the bucket from feebleness, disease, and starvation. Who/What Involvement in Event (may include their action or response to event) |Involvement in Event (may include their action or response to event| Leaders – Who was responsible (leaders or government) for the event taking place? |The government was responsible for the even taking place. | Casualties – Which group(s) was targeted in this event? |The Armenian people were targeted in this event. | Opposition Did anyone oppose or try to prevent this event (may be within the nation or another government opposing the event)? What did the opposition do to prevent/stop the event? |Not really, based on the information I was provided with the genocide ended because the Armenians beat the Turkish in the battle of Sardarabad ending the genocide. | Supporters – Who supported or helped to carry out the government orders? What did the supporters do to carry out the......

Words: 293 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

World History

...time. * As a general, improved conditions for troops, gaining support and boosting morale. * Seized power, coup d’etat and the people of france accepted Napolean’s dictatorship. 4.) Lasting Effects of Napolean: * Scholar’s organized all French law into Napoleanic Code. * Established the Bank of France to act as a central financial institution. * Put into effect a system that included high schools, universities, and technical schools * Concordat: Recognized that most French citizens were Catholic, but it still allowed religious freedom. Most important, the church gave up claims to the property that the government had seized and sold during the Revolution. 9.) How World War I was fought, and the concept of total war. * Four Factors for World War I: Nationalism, Militarism, imperialism, system of alliances * Triple Alliance: Italy, Germany, and Austria-Hungary * Triple Entente: France, Russia, Great Britain * Austria Hungary declares war on Serbia * Germany declares war on Russia * Germany declares war on France * Germany invades Belgian territory * Britain declares war on Germany * Total War is a country utilizing all its resources towards the war. 10.) Why the Russian Revolution Succeeded * Two factions fought for power of the Soviets: Mensheviks and Bolsheviks * Bolsheviks had Vladimir Lenin, who trained workers to become a revolutionary force. * The Bolsheviks appealed to the......

Words: 482 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

World History

...J.M. Keynes: - In “The economic consequences of the peace”, he argued that the treaty ignores the economic solidarity of Europe and by aiming at the destruction of the economic life of Germany it threatens the health and prosperity of the Allies themselves. - He argues that the real problem of the settlement lay not in the issues of boundaries but rather in the questions of food, coal and commerce - His predictions were right when Germany was to face hyperinflation (a rise in price that became totally out of control) - War-guilt cause The German Problem: * Refers to the concern of other European powers regarding the huge potential that Germany had to dominate Europe. Given its geographical position and its economic and military potential, it was in a position to upset the balance of power and threaten other countries. Historian W.H.Dawson: Germany under the Treaty Germany’s border is bleeding Alternative view of the Treaty * Compared to the treaties that Germany had imposed on Russia and Romania earlier in 1918, the Treaty of Versailles was quite moderate. * Niall Ferguson: the treaty was relatively lenient * The treaty of Versailles was quite moderate and lenient * The treaty in fact left Germany in a relatively strong position in the center of Europe Germany power and expansion * The huge reparations bill was not responsible for the economic crisis that Germany faced in the early 1920s * Treaty of St. Germain * Austria was......

Words: 527 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

History of World War !

...Serbian nationalist in Sarajevo, Bosnia. An escalation of threats and mobilization orders followed the incident, leading by mid-August to the outbreak of World War I, which pitted Germany, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire (the so-called Central Powers) against Great Britain, France, Russia, Italy and Japan (the Allied Powers). The Allies were joined after 1917 by the United States. The four years of the Great War–as it was then known–saw unprecedented levels of carnage and destruction, thanks to grueling trench warfare and the introduction of modern weaponry such as machine guns, tanks and chemical weapons. By the time World War I ended in the defeat of the Central Powers in November 1918, more than 9 million soldiers had been killed and 21 million more wounded. WORLD WAR I BEGINS (1914) Though tensions had been brewing in Europe–and especially in the troubled Balkan region–for years before conflict actually broke out, the spark that ignited World War I was struck in Sarajevo, Bosnia, where Archduke Franz Ferdinand, nephew of Emperor Franz Josef and heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, was shot to death along with his wife by the Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip on June 28, 1914. The assassination of Franz Ferdinand and Sophie set off a rapid chain of events: Austria-Hungary, like many in countries around the world, blamed the Serbian government for the attack and hoped to use the incident as justification for settling the question of Slavic nationalism once and......

Words: 1860 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

World History Since 1945

...Name: Tutor: Course: Date: World History since 1945 Truman Doctrine The doctrine is named after the then-president Harry Truman. The speech made by the president before Congress in 1947 gave birth to the doctrine. The reason President Truman made the speech was because Britain had announced that they will no longer support the Greek government economically and military wise. Through the doctrine, the government of United States of America (USA) promised to provide political, army and economic aid to all democratic countries under threat from authoritarian powers. It further outlined the change in the USA foreign policy from its usual withdrawal stance from regional conflicts not directly touching on the country, to one of intervention in conflict all over the world. The doctrine also promised to help Turkey and Greece economically and through military actions against the communists this after Britain announced that they would be withdrawing their support. These countries were to receive $400,000,000 aid. The doctrine contents were justified by the need to help free people in their fight against totalitarian rule which would undermine international peace and hence affect the security of the USA (Jones, 36). NSC-68 The National Security Council Paper NSC-68 was a top secret report meant to confront the treat the hostile design of the Soviet Union had on the USA. The report banned the regeneration of US isolationism arguing that it will result in Soviet Union......

Words: 1422 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

History of World War 2

...When war broke out, there was no way the world could possibly know the levels of severity that the war would escalate also. Fortunately one country saw and understood that Germany and its allies would have to be stopped. America's involvement in World War 2 not only contributed in the eventual downfall of the insane Adolph Hitler and his Third Reich, but had also came at the precise time and moment. Had the United States entered the war any later the consequences might have been worse. Over the years, it has been an often heated and debated issue on whether the United States could have entered the war sooner and thus saved many lives. To try to understand this we must look both at the people and at government's point of view. Just after war broke out in Europe, President Roosevelt hurriedly called his cabinet and military advisors together. There it was agreed that the United States stay neutral in these affairs. One of the reasons given was that unless America was directly threatened, they had no reason to be involved. Thus, the provisional neutrality act passed the senate by seventy-nine votes to two in 1935. On August 31, Roosevelt signed it into law. In 1936, the law was renewed, and in 1937, a comprehensive and permanent neutrality act was passed. The desire to avoid "foreign entanglements" of all kinds had been an American foreign policy for more than a century. Even if Roosevelt had wanted to do more in the European crisis (which he did not), there was a factor too......

Words: 1572 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

History of World War 2

...Name Class Date Professor A History of World War 2 World War 2 was a very interest time period, and there were a lot of different factors that helped to contribute to the war. Many different nations got involved in this war, with each of them choosing a different side, this led to many rivalries. It also caused hard feelings between many nations, because before the war they may have had a close friendship between the countries, but after the war started that friendship ceased to exist because of the strain of war. There were many important details in World War 2, that helped to create what it became, and I’m going to discuss some of those details. Within World War 2, many different things occurred, such as concentration camps, and those issues are very important to many today, even though this event happened so many years ago. That is why I’m going to discuss the historical key points during World War 2, and explain why they were important. The beginning of World War 2 did not happen immediately as some might think, but it took time to develop. It all began when Hitler withdrew himself from the League of Nations in the year 1933, he did not believe the League would come after him because of their previous actions with Japan. That is why he left them and began to arm his country heavily with weapons and other things; in the meanwhile he was forming deals with many different nations for various things. The power of the League took another hit when Mussolini was able to...

Words: 2730 - Pages: 11

Premium Essay

History on World War Ii

...Britain, France and Soviet Union were great imperial powers, who all faced by the recurrent problems, nationalist movements among their people.1 World War One affected the political, economic, and social systems of Europe.2 The Treaty of Versailles had a very important influence on the Second World War, it was harsh, and economically impossible. In addition, it would be enough to upset the Germans, but not enough to restrain them powerless.3 There was another instability in Europe, the conflict within the eastern Europe; all of eastern Europe’s territories were changed, thus left many nations without a state of its own.4 There was continuity in German policy between the periods 1914 to 1941. World War Two, was a continuation of the past 30 years war. Bell talked about the Thirty Years War thesis, the stable Europe of 1914, had an equal balance of power, but it did not prevent Germany’s dynamism and expansionism. It took four years of war, and with the help of powerful USA to defeat Germany. If Germany still had the same ideas, but was faced a weak Europe with no balance of power and without the interference of the USA, another world would be certainty.5 However, this is confronted by another equally powerful thesis, it was the effect of the war and instable peace settlement and the consequences of the great depression that made a war inevitable.6 Ideology was very important and powerful. Fascism, Nazism and communism provided an alternative to democracy. However, because...

Words: 1704 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

World History

...Name Instructor Course Date World History Reasons why America and Japan became successful after 1860 The United States made many efforts to become successful in the earlier 1860’s; among them, they sought all means possible to control markets in order to multiply profits. Monopoly of markets control was achieved by the organization of trust. For example between 1868, when the first standard oil company was started in Pennsylvania, and 1900, Rockefeller’s oil company brought other companies under its control. Standard oil companies were in California, Iowa, Ohio, and New Jersey, but were brought together, and Standard Oil Company gained control of competing companies such as Acme oil, Atlantic refining among others. On the other hand, Japan became successful because of its revitalizing relationship with the United States. The combination of the Chinese ports to regular trade ensured that there was steady stream of maritime traffic between North America and Asia. The combination of its advantageous geographic position and rumors that Japan had deposits of coal increased the appeal of establishing commercial and diplomatic contacts with the Japanese. Reason for the decline of Chinese power after 1800 The imperial conquest of the British and Western countries led to a major fall of china’s power in 1800’s. This is because the imperial conquest was based on the militaristic nature of the imperial state, its non-reciprocal economic relations with overseas trading countries and the......

Words: 610 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

World History

...Donald Lee Prof: Amy Wallhermfechtel World History since 1500 February 10, 2016 The Reformation and the Scientific Method World History It is difficult to have an accurate idea of ​​how much you currently owe to Martin Luther and the movement that originated around their thinking. Historically we can say that somehow upset the religious, social, economic, cultural and political order of his time. But, Martin Luther did not agree with what the Catholic Church was doing. Martin Luther started his own way when he knew that the Catholic Church was ecclesiastical corruption and lack of religious piety. Then, Luther created the Reformation so the west divided in two that was the Catholic Church and the other were building their own churches. By this many people started making their own believing. The Protestant Reformation movement has generated many changes in the lives of people and western society. Martin Luther changed the world for failing to be a monk for the Catholic Church and start their own faith. He started a movement called the Reformation. Luther began to increase their movement more people and talking to them and told them everything bad that by the Catholic Church. Thanks to this, people began to believe in the Reformation was a Catholic idea, but none of this was under the Catholic Church this was by Martin Luther believing. The Scientific Revolution was a time associated primarily with the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, when new ideas and......

Words: 428 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Gkt1 Applicationss of Us and World History

...Western Governors University GKT1 Applications in US and World History Tammy Railsback Four Themes to be Addressed • Geography and the Development/Diffusion of Human Societies-Cumberland Gap • Individuals and Institutions as Mechanisms of Social/Governmental Change-Clara Barton • Historical Systems of Power, Governance and Authority-The Nazi Party • Science and Technology as the Engine of Economic Growth and Development-Gunpowder Geography and the Development of Human Societies The United States: Cumberland Gap Cumberland Gap is an excellent example of geography and diffusion of human society as until its discovery in 1750 the Appalachian Mountains blocked the way of further settlement into the West. History of Cumberland Gap • Natural passage through the Cumberland Mtns. • Formed by erosion from a stream that once flowed through it. • The path used by animals and Native Americans. • First discovered and explored by Dr. Thomas Walker in 1750 (Columbia Encyclopedia, 2013). Road to the West • In 1775 Daniel Boone and party of woodsman marked the Cumberland Gap as they traveled from Virginia to Kentucky. • Up until 1810 the Cumberland Gap was known as “the way West” and saw a steady stream of settlers pass through it. • Between the 18th and 19th centuries the Cumberland Gap was travelled by over 200,000 people migrating west. • The Cumberland Gap remained a major route for travel & trade during the 20th century (Mahaney, 2014). Individuals as......

Words: 950 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

World History

...Section 1: Short Answer (20 points)  In this section, you will write a two­ to three­sentence response to each of the following  items. Remember to use examples and be specific.  In the area of politics, the Irish were upset by their merger with Great Britain into the  United Kingdom. Identify and explain two areas of discontent. (4 points)    Beginning in 1801, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland became a single  entity. Many Irish were unhappy with this because they felt it diminished their identity as  Irish, and because many viewed England as a historical enemy. The merger of northern  Ireland into the British Empire replaced the Roman Catholic Church with the church of  England as the state church.       What is a monopoly? Explain the benefits to owning a monopoly.(4 points)  A monopoly is when a person owns or dominates an industry. He will gain so much  power that he either buy out competitors or run them out of business. After that he can  be the only person that is able to provide his services. So when he is the only one  standing, he can name the prices and the customers are forced to pay. Monopoly can  make the owner multi millionaire. .       What is urbanization? Identify two of the problems that were associated with rapid  urbanization.(4 points)    Urbanization is the social process whereby cities grow and societies become more  urban in areas, be it horizontal or vertical, as opposed to being mostly rural and  agricultur......

Words: 1191 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

World History

...4-20 Tribonian: next 400 years from the republican age. Law also exists as a series of edicts. Emperor is constintutionally a magistrate, could do edicts – say what the law was. Permanent unless superceded by another emperor. 432, 438, Theodosian code. 2nd edition cleans up the bad editing. Most comprehensive code the romans had up to this point. It didn’t look at every single area of law. By justinians day it is almost 100 years old. Justinian got 500 scribes and jurists. Difference is large. Justinian was so pleased that he gave trebonian other tasks. Digest is twice as long as the code. A discussion of the principles of the law, the procedures, the remedies. Excerpting the particular topic – what they thought at the time. Quite a bit is philosophical. And a bit based on case law. Therefore it is unique. If you knew nothing about the roman law and you read it – you would know everything. 1000 year old system of written law. His most enduring contribution, Justinian. One of the three most important books beside the bible and quaran. Lenord the 3rd wrote the Ekolga. Justinian had reconquered the west. 1079 – one or two copies of the digest are found. Digest is not law in England, Germany. England were developing their own system, Germany wouldn’t develop until the 19th century. Every other latin speaking areas used it. Islam Decade seperates death of Justinian and birth of Mohammed. Justinian died in 565. Suceeded by several emperors in the next 45 years. Couple decent,......

Words: 2594 - Pages: 11