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Age of Enlightenment

Age of Enlightenment

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Published by ichette

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Published by: ichette on Oct 21, 2009
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07/08/2014

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The influence of the philosophy of the age of enlightenment on Mozart’s operas
AgnetaD. Borgstedt
Opera Theatre Guild of Rochester 
Age of the Enlightenment17
th
and 18
th
Century
Medieval Historical Antecedents
Lack of individual freedom, people are subjects of aristocrats or kings
Church law, political, religious, philosophical, socialorder dominated by the Church
People are born into social positions with pre-ordained obligations such as kinship or feudal duty.Social positions didn’t change throughout a person’slife
 
Factors undermining the stability of themedieval society
The religious reformation of the 16
th
Century challenged thelaws and the powers of the Church
Dynamics of economic growth
Markets opened
Widening of the circulation of commodities
Accumulation of wealth by the new class that derived itspower from money rather than status. Beginning of Banking. The Fuggersin Augsburg.
Formation of a new social class, the bourgeois, that soldits labor for a wage.
Scientific discoveries that questioned the order of theuniverse. Galileo, Copernicus, Newton
The results of the economic changes and thereligious wars, 17
th
and 18
th
Century
Destruction of feudal society, emerging absolutist rulersthat needed the new bourgeois class for stability
The rational standardization of law
Abolition of exclusive rights and privileges of the feudalsociety that prevented people entering into a social andcommercial transaction on an equal basis
Commerce brought religious toleration, religious differenceshould not hinder trade and economic growth
Demands for individual freedom. The Enlightenmentstruggled with the balance of individual freedom versus thecohesion of social order 
 
Enlightenment and Bourgeois Society
FranceLouis 14
th
, absolute ruler needed the bourgeois topromote wealth and security and to allow progressand civilization to flourishIn the next century the power and rebellion of thebourgeois scientists, philosophers, artists and play-writes from Voltaire to Beaumarchais eventually ledto the French Revolution and threatened the socialcohesion and security.
Enlightenment and Bourgeois Society
England
Monarchy weakened under the Stuarts
Power alliance of the progressive aristocracy with themercantile bourgeoisie
Individual freedom, pursuit of happiness and pleasurebut also demands of social duty
Protagonists of enlightened thought were Locke, Humeand at the end of the 18
th
Century the mysticism of Blake sought spiritual meaning of life

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