The term Enlightenment, also known as Enlightenment, refers to an intellectual movement born on the European continent in the 18th century that defended the use of reason, questioning, among many other issues, the Ancien Regime and the absolute power of the Monarchy . That’s why this century is known as the “Century of Enlightenment”.
The Enlightenment had its origins in France and its main promoters were found in the middle class. The rise of the bourgeoisie on the social scale made this way of thinking acquire greater presence in the circles of power and, little by little, it infiltrated society until it was able to bring about great political and social changes.
The influence of the Enlightenment was fundamental to understanding important historical events that would take place in the next few years, such as the American War of Independence or the French Revolution.
The Age of Lights
During the 16th and 17th centuries, the main currents of thought maintained a rationalist view. Likewise, the division of classes in society and the absolute power of the monarchy, moved by divinity , are present everywhere in Europe.
But little by little these rationalist ideas and the spirit of independence grew among the highest strata of society, being especially profound in the court of King Louis XV in France. There is a growing interest in philosophy manifested directly in a direct critique of the pillars of society at the time.
This support base that springs from the phenomenon of the Enlightenment or the Enlightenment is not characterized by a deep philosophical charge, but it is extremely important for history and especially for politics .
The ideal implicit in this current of thought was to bring light to the darkest places in society, allowing man to be guided only by reason and thus enhancing a general progress.
According to the Enlightenment, until now man has been led by some beliefs without rational basis, simply by superstition, custom or fear of authority. With the Age of Enlightenment, reason ends all these barriers and provides the emergence of a man who thinks for himself.