College Essay Examples


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What is the Enlightenment? Why do we call it that? Who do you think are the three most important people for understanding this period? Why?

The Enlightenment is an intellectual movement that is typically associated with the 18thcentury. Some writers and thinkers believed they were more enlightened than those around them. This was primarily in Paris and London, and resulted in this minority setting out to enlighten the masses. These thinkers believed human reasoning could be a tool to fight against superstition, ignorance and tyranny, all with the goal of creating a better world, which is why the movement is called “Enlightenment.” Two primary targets of these thinkers was the hereditary aristocracy and religion. While many people took part in the Enlightenment, three primary players led to its domination.

Early on, Voltaire and his followers in France were struggling to lay down the values of tolerance and freedom in a culture that had a Church and monarchy that was opposed to essentially everything that the Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution stood for. This made him one of the most important players in the success of the Enlightenment. Two other significant people in the uprising of Enlightenment are Michel de Montaigne and Rousseau. Montaigne was a great thinker and he was primarily known for his essays that questioned how cultures can impose their beliefs on others. He believed people had no right to impose their dogmas that are based on cultural habit instead of absolute truth, (Brians, 1998). Rousseau is celebrated as being distrustful of the aristocrats, and he made much of the progress of Enlightenment due to his forceful nature, (Brians, 1998).

Works Cited
Brians, P. (1998). The Enlightenment. Washington State University.

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By Hanna Robinson

Hanna has won numerous writing awards. She specializes in academic writing, copywriting, business plans and resumes. After graduating from the Comosun College's journalism program, she went on to work at community newspapers throughout Atlantic Canada, before embarking on her freelancing journey.

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