What are some specific ideas & principles of the Enlightenment period?


1697 Mary Astell wrote Serious Proposal to the Ladies. This stated that women needed to become better educated.

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Judith Drake (fl. 1696-1707) was an English intellectual and author who was active in the last decade of the 17th century. She was part of a circle of intellectuals, authors, and philosophers which included Mary Astell, Lady Mary Chudleigh, Elizabeth Thomas, Elizabeth Elstob, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, and John Norris. She was married to James Drake F.R.S., physician and Tory pamphleteer. She is remembered in the field of feminist literature for her 1696 essay, An Essay in Defence of the Female Sex.

When Judith Drake and the other intellectuals of her circle began writing, they were still a minority and subject to much nay saying. Recently there has been a loosening of censorship of printed books. A few women took this opportunity to publish on gender relationships. Because of their efforts as well as the rise in female literacy, the literary world which entered into the debate about women.

A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792)
The Subjection of Women (1869)
The Second Sex (1949)

Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. A feminist advocates or supports the rights and equality of women.

If all Men are born free, how is it that all Women are born Slaves?

Mary Astell (12 November 1666 – 11 May 1731) was an English feminist writer and rhetorician. Her advocacy of equal educational opportunities for women has earned her the title "the first English feminist."

The Age of Enlightenment (or simply the Enlightenment or Age of Reason) was a cultural movement of intellectuals beginning in the late 17th and 18th century Europe emphasizing reason and individualism rather than tradition. Its purpose was to reform society using reason, challenge ideas grounded in tradition and faith, and advance knowledge through the scientific method. It promoted scientific thought, skepticism, and intellectual interchange. It opposed superstition and intolerance, with the Catholic Church a favorite target. Some Enlightenment philosophes collaborated with Enlightened despots, who were absolute rulers who tried out some of the new governmental ideas in practice. The ideas of the Enlightenment have had a long-term major impact on the culture, politics, and governments of the Western world.

Originating about 1650 to 1700, it was sparked by philosophers Baruch Spinoza (1632–1677), John Locke (1632–1704), Pierre Bayle (1647–1706), Voltaire (1694–1778) and physicist Isaac Newton (1643–1727). Ruling princes often endorsed and fostered these figures and even attempted to apply their ideas of government in what was known as enlightened absolutism. The Scientific Revolution is closely tied to the Enlightenment, as its discoveries overturned many traditional concepts and introduced new perspectives on nature and man's place within it. The Enlightenment flourished until about 1790–1800, after which the emphasis on reason gave way to Romanticism's emphasis on emotion, and a Counter-Enlightenment gained force.

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