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Western Europe during the Enlightenment Period

The Enlightenment period started in 18th century in Western Europe as part of an intellectual movement aiming to promote human reasoning. This era marked the birth of radical and rational ideas that greatly challenged and changed points- of-views- in philosophy, politics, science, and the arts. In the field of political science, Jean-Jacques Rousseau led the movement for having a social contract among states in order to attain a power-free society. The founding leaders of the United States like Thomas Jefferson adopted and applied the theory when doing their Bill of Rights.

Adam Smith, on the other hand, contributed a lot in the field of economics through his theory regarding the wealth of a nation. This radical idea of Smith changed the way people perceived wealth as Smith emphasized that it is composed not only of money but more of labor. Even in the field of arts, radical changes were observed through the works of Mozart and Joseph Haydn in music, Jean- Antoine Watteau, William Hogarth, Jacques-Louis David in visual arts, and J. J. Winckelmann, and Samuel Richardson in literature.

Eighteenth century also set the period for satirist such as Jonathan Swift who used his talents in criticizing individuals and institutions. Discussion B: Voltaire and J. W. von Goethe both used their writings in order to state their rebellion against the authority. While Goethe focused on romanticism, Voltaire favored satires, like his work Candid. His major themes are also attacks to the Catholic church dogma.

Work Cited

Bishop, Philip E. Adventures in the Human Spirit, 5th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2005

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