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What were the major changes in europe brought by age of enlightenment?


Wars during the 1700s were most often fought within countries over secession to a throne rather than between countries. Monarchies still often ruled during the 1700s, but with less security than in earlier times. The English executed their king in 1642, France executed their king and queen (in 1793 and 1794 respectively) during the French Revolution, and other European monarchies soon fell. Royal instability suggested insecurity of the social order over which aristocracies had ruled.

Economically, new trade between countries generated new wealth. The newly wealthy tradesman and merchant class demanded a share of the social and political power formally held only by the nobility. As a result of the political and economic changes during the eighteenth century, there were major social changes as well. The former rigid class system based on inherited positions of nobility and wealth became far less secure.

There were also major religious changes during the 1700s. There was a significant decline in church power and prestige, which resulted primarily from people’s no longer believing in God’s daily involvement in their human affairs. Prior to the Enlightenment, before the discovery of natural laws, people had believed that every event that occurred, no matter how major or minor was a direct result of God’s intervention. Once scientists discovered that natural laws caused these occurrences, mankind feared God less, and as a result, religious obligations were no longer the primary concern of many people. Deism, with its idea of a God detached from human affairs, gave mankind the ability and responsibility to solve our own problems.

The eighteenth century recognized the interdependence of men on each other. Rather than the agricultural society prevalent during the previous feudal period, the 1700s saw the development of cosmopolitan society.

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