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Progress in the Age of the Enlightenment, Outline Example

Pages: 2

Words: 606

Outline

Introduction

  • Enlightenment is closely associated with the idea of progress.
  • During this time period, thinkers throughout Europe aimed to counter the religious Ideals that were put forth by the ruling classes of the Middle Ages, which allowed there to be a renewed setting for thoughts and the arts (Kisch 1989).
  • Many events led to the spread of new understandings in Europe
  • The mass migration of people into cities from rural areas marked a significant shift in the spread and exchange of ideas that helped contribute to the development of new innovations
  • Overall, it could be said that this was one of the most important shifts that triggered the Enlightenment.
  • The mass migration required people to shift from farm labor to factory work and individuals that were able to acquire more lucrative positions were often more intelligent than physically able.
  • As a result, the industrial revolution marks an important change in society because it made human lives easier, allowing all people to spend more time on focusing on the progress that their new lifestyle could bring (Rider 2007).

Subpoint One

  • Many people moved to cities in order to escape rule by their lords and seek a new life for their own.
  • As a consequence, they were required to quickly adjust to city life, which required living in close quarters and working job different than those they were used to.
  • This new lifestyle allowed many people to quickly learn whether they would work best in a particular trade or art.
  • As a consequence, many new fields opened. People became merchants, artists, factory workers, and more.
  • While these jobs were available prior to the industrial revolution, the extent of these specialties were not present.
  • Because these individuals had a greater ability and need to focus on improving their trades, they were able to spark the progress of society because everyone would struggle to remain on top (Pollard 1981).

Subpoint Two

  • Next, it is important to consider that the industrial revolution significantly altered the lifestyles of individuals because of the quantity and quality of ideas that were spread during this period.
  • Since cities moved people closer together, the distinct thoughts and ideas of these individuals were also moved closer together.
  • As a consequence, cities allowed people to engage in greater degrees of collaboration.
  • When many great thoughts were combined, humanity was able to create great inventions, such as the cotton gin, that make life easier and allowed time to be spent more efficiently.
  • This enforced the value of progress as an important part of Enlightenment, because it demonstrated that a collaborative nature would help improve the lives of many.

Subpoint Three

  • Last, it is important to consider that moving to cities created great problems, such as sanitation and cleanliness issues, that needed to be resolved (Olson 2001).
  • Because these problems were created, great thinkers were required to work together to resolve them.
  • Therefore, modern society now enjoys government sponsored sanitation and indoor plumbing as a response to the diseases that were spread during this era. Furthermore, much was learned about the spread of disease from the living habits of people during this time period.
  • This demonstrates that the people of the Enlightenment needed progress just as much as they wanted it, as it was necessary for survival (More 2000).

Conclusion

  • The Enlightenment was caused by the shift to cities.
  • This shift triggered the industrial revolution.
  • Progress evolved from the want to get away from the lords, collaborate, and solve problems.

Bibliography

Kisch, Herbert. From Domestic Manufacture to Industrial Revolution The Case of the Rhineland Textile Districts. Oxford University Press, 1989.

More, Charles. Understanding the Industrial Revolution. London: Routledge, 2000.

Olson, James S. Encyclopedia of the Industrial Revolution in America. (2001)

Pollard, Sidney. Peaceful Conquest: The Industrialization of Europe, 1760–1970. Oxford University Press, 1981.

Rider, Christine. Encyclopedia of the Age of the Industrial Revolution, 1700–1920. 2007.

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