Enlightenment Essay Thesis

Enlightenment Essay Thesis-90
The Enlightenment was a period of much intellectual and social growth. During the Enlightenment, people started to believe that all men were free people.The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen states "Men are born and remain free and equal in rights." This was a new concept at the time.This probably drove the Enlightenment thinkers to feel contempt for those people in power.

But, along with the new rights and freedoms people were to be acquiring, there would be new duties that they would also have.

With the new privileges the people would have, they would have more responsibilities.

Abbe Sieyes says "Inequalities of wealth or ability are like the inequalities of age, sex, size, etc.

However, at the time of the Enlightenment, most things that a nation did only benefited the few people in the upper classes.

He depicts those people from the upper two classes as being cruel and unjust.

In Candide, Voltaire describes what happens to Candide when he is found kissing the daughter of a Baron when he says "The Baron of Thunder-ten-tronck came around the partition and, seeing this cause and effect, drove Candide out of the castle with great kicks in the behind." The treatment Candide received was unfair.The Baron did not think that Candide deserved to be with his daughter because he was of a lower class.Voltaire thought that the barriers between classes were unfair.I answer that I am neither, and that is why I do so." The first part of his statements shows how politics had been viewed before the Enlightenment.Only the nobles or other high officials were allowed to participate in politics.His reply to that answer shows that the Enlightenment thinkers believed they had the same rights as anyone else to participate in politics and government.The Enlightenment thinkers wanted everyone to have the same political rights.The new governments that arose from these revolutions were more in touch with the needs of the people than their monarchial predecessors had been.The revolutionaries had so much bitterness towards those people with the power, that they went over the edge and treated those in power the same way they had been treated.The views of the Enlightenment thinkers had the common good, or what was good for all people, as one of their priorities.The common good is what is best for a society as a whole, not just for a few people or the individual or group that is acting. It is meant to ensure the welfare of all people regardless of social class.


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