THE AGE OF REASON 1700-1789

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Transcript THE AGE OF REASON 1700-1789

THE AGE OF REASON
1700-1789
Four Trends of the Age
• A growing concentration of political power in
the “great” states: France, Great Britain,
Prussia, Austria, Netherlands, & Russia
• Return of the aristocracy to prominence
• Rise of the middle-class in politics and culture
who supported social equality & justice, and a
revamping of society as a whole
• The intellectual & cultural movement to be
labeled The Enlightenment
The Great Powers
• Saw a growing urbanization
• A fairly rigid class system prevailed:
aristocracy, upper middle class, broad middle
class, lesser artisans, and metropolitan poor.
• In Great Britain and France, the monarchy
would diminish, while in Prussia, Austria, and
Russia it would gain eminence
The Enlightenment
• The “thinkers” embraced humanism=believed
that a human being becomes a better person
through the study and practice of literature,
music, philosophy, and the arts. Thus, a
human could be “perfected”. This would
agree with John Locke and his tabula rasa.
• Had the greatest effects in London, Edinburgh,
Paris. To a lesser extent in St. Petersburg &
Moscow with Catherine II (the Great)
Philosophes of the Enlightnment
• Had full confidence in reason
• Believed nature was orderly and fundamentally
good, and could be studied empirically
• Because humans were perfectable, so was society
• Political, religious, and economic institutions
should be reformed in a social utilitarianism for
happiness
• Advocated freedom of religious choice
• Advocated an educational system free of religious
control
• Supported Deism
Prominent Philosophes
Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet) 1694-1778
• Author of Candide in which he attached religious
and political optimism
• Wrote plays, novels, essays, letters
• Source of quoted "If God did not exist, it would be
necessary to invent Him.“ While sounding
pessimistic, it was really a comment on church
bureaucracies
• Ridiculed Muhammed, but of Islamism he wrote of
it “a wise, severe, chaste, and humane religion.”
• Counted Benjamin Franklin as a good friend
Denis Diderot 1713-1784
• Chief editor of the Encyclopédie, intended as a
compendium of all knowledge in the arts,
sciences, and crafts
• Attacked conventional morality
• Was summoned to Russia to meet with
Catherine the Great, who had become his
patron
Charles-Louis de Secondat, baron de Montesquieu
• 1689-1759
• Believed government should be set up so that no
man need be afraid of another. This would
influence James Madison and other Founding
Fathers.
• Opposed slavery
• Believed women could head governments, but
not families
• Saw 3 forms of government: monarchies [honor],
republics [virtue], and despotisms [fear]
Physiocrats
• Were concerned with economics in the Enlightenment;
forerunners of Classical Economists
• Examined mercantilism closely, believing it to be harmful
• Recognized laws of supply and demand
• Believed laissez-faire economics to be the best: keep
government control out of a self-regulating economy
• Believed both society and the individual benefits when
people are allowed to serve their own self-interest
• Prominent physiocrats were Anne-Robert-Jacques Turgot
and François Quesnay
ARTS IN THE AGE OF REASON
Rococo and Neoclassicism
• Rococo style arose in France under Louis XIV
– Concentrated on frivolous subjects such as fêtes
galantes (aristocratic entertainments) and themes
– Embodied by the Flemish painter/decorator JeanAntoine Watteau
– Had an undercurrent of eroticism and sex (so the
Brits didn’t adopt it)
Departure From Cythera by Watteau
Marie Antoinette
and her Children
By
Elisabeth-Louise
Vigée-Lebrun
Nude on a Sofa by François Bourcher
The Swing
by
Jean-Honoré
Fragonard
The
Countess’
Levée
Or
Morning
Party
From
Marriage à
la Mode
by
William
Hogarth
rocaille
“Fanciful stucco ornaments in the
shapes of ribbons, leaves, stems,
flowers, interlaces, arabesques, and
elongated, curving lines applied to
walls and ceilings
The effect of rocaille was to make
solid surfaces look more like fleeting
illusions.”
Hall of Mirrors Amalienburg, Munich
Salon de
Princessa
by
Germain
Boffrand
Kenwood House (London) designed by Robert Adam
Library of
Kenwood House
designed by
Robert Adam
Pantheon
Paris
designed
by
Jacques
Germain
Soufflot
Political Philosophy
Prominent political philosophers were Baron de
Montesquieu and Jean-Jacques Rousseau
• Montesquieu
– Wrote The Spirit of the Laws
– Concluded climate, geography, religion, education,
etc. account for world’s different types of laws and
governments
– Promoted idea that Separation of Powers
provided an adequate defense against despots
• Rousseau
– Wrote The Social Contract
– Humans are free and equal in nature
– Humans can follow whims, so they possess no
moral purpose
– The state is founded upon an agreement among
people, gives its citizens basic rights (life, liberty &
property)
– Each citizen has right to vote, and votes on laws in
accord with the General Will (what is best for
community).
– Citizens who obey laws become moral beings.
Neoclassical Literary Figures
• Alexander Pope (1688-1744)
– Essay on Man
– “The proper study of mankind is man.”
• Edward Gibbons (1737-1794)
– History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman
Empire in 6 volumes
Literary Figures of Realism
• Advent of the novel
• Focused on individual persons rather universal
types, and on particular circumstances rather
than literary custom
• Focused on character development over time
• Authors adopted a narrative voice
• Samuel Richardson focused on love between
the sexes
– Pamela
– Virtue Rewarded
– Clarissa Harlowe
• Henry Fielding depicted a robust world of
comedy and adventure
– The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling
– The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrew,
a parody of Richardson’s Pamela
MUSIC
• In France, the style galant would be the
rococo response to baroque music, with light,
charming, graceful, and simple melodies.
• Harpsichord would be a favored rococo
instrument
• The pianoforte appeared
• Principal French composers were
– François Couperin
– Jean-Philippe Rameau
• Classical style replaced rococo music. It
emphasized form and structure
• The sonata form with its exposition,
development, and recapitulation would be
prominent
• Sonata form would be come a basis for
symphonic works, concertos, sonatas
• If written in four movements, the third
movement was either a minuet (French)or
scherzo (means joke in Italian)
COMPOSERS
• Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)
– 30 years as music director for a Hungarian noble
family
– Composed 104, 4-movement symphonies
– Composed more than 70 string quartets for
violins, viola, and cello
• Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
– Composed, concertos, symphonies, trios,
quartets, quintets, serenades
– Most famous opera is The Marriage of Figaro