Enlightenment era was when people started to use reason, or logical thinking, rationalism, and science to attack this power. The thinkers of the Enlightenment objected to the absolute power of the royal rulers and of the Roman Catholic church. Many enlightenment ideas deals with human freedom and individual rights. This article talks about the enlightenment era and thinkers who in some way had influenced racism. To say that race and racism are the results of the Enlightenment is unfair at humans did hold slaves or otherwise classified each other prior to the 18th century. People argue that the scientific thought of the Enlightenment created the racial taxonomy and the color-coded, white-over-black ideology with which we are familiar in today.
Even Immanuel Kant a German philosopher who is a central figure in modern philosophy believed that humankind exists in the greatest perfection of whites with great talents while Indians or brown skinned are in the middle. Kant stated that Negroes are the lowest in rank and the peasant in part of the American peoples. John Locke the most popular enlightenment thinker who influenced many nations with his inalienable rights thought also, had a influence of early modern racial thinking because in the second of the treatises, Locke provides a justification for slavery as a result of war, using the same absolute power language that grants slave owners the power of life and death over their slaves. Articles talks about more people knowingly or unknowingly spread the idea of racism during the enlightenment era. Even though enlightenment helped shaped our modern world in science, government and many more, it also shaped the Enlightenment ideas of race and white supremacy today.
The article The Enlightenment’s Dark Side is related to the enlightenment period we discussed in class. Enlightenment era where people started to believe in science and reasoning and rebel again absolute monarchs. We also analyzed some enlightenment thinkers like Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Montesquieu, Voltaire and many more. John Locke commonly known for his natural laws when he speaks about monarchs aren’t chosen by God. Consent of the governed for the protection of natural rights which are life, liberty, and property. Where Rousseau is saying the government is a contract between rulers and people meaning a social contract. Voltaire famous for his wit attacks the church and demanded freedom of speech and religion.
Montesquieu which influenced our three branches of government talks about separation of power. Thomas Hobbes in other hand believed something different then most of the others, he believed that the correct form of government was the absolute monarchy. There were many other enlightenment thinkers who discussed crime, women’s rights, and economic progression. The article discussed about the whole enlightenment era and some thinkers like Locke and Kant (philosopher) which we have taken a test on. The connection between the article and the enlightenment is significant because the articles reveal about some words that the thinker like Locke said which we never have thought in depth about and it gives more information about enlightenment.
The article also relates to one of the five themes of modern world history by talking about scientific breakthroughs which impacted the people during the beginning of the 18th century. Their lifestyle changed after they began to go more into logical thinking and science with observations. Most people after realizing the science significance stopped going to church and church started to lose power. This scientific breakthrough spread into other places of the world like America where we used ideas of enlightenment thinker to form our modern government and constitution.
The society in whole started to use observations and asking questions about dive rights and monarchs having power. Where the enlightenment thinkers started persuading more people to follow their ideas. It’s shocking to know how enlightenment is used today in influenced the idea of racism. It’s unbelievable because a person like John Locke who Thomas Jefferson was inspired by to write the Declaration of Independence felt that slaves had no rights over their life. Its very hard to believe because I love learning of enlightenment as it helped America shape our government and laws. I believe that it was unintentionally said by Locke and Kant about the Native/African Americans.
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