Enlightenment and Revolutions

Timeline created by amskl
In History
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    Scientific Revolution

    A series of events that sparked ideas of modern science and encouraged the use of modern experimentation and reasoning. It is the first time that people think for themselves instead of listening to what authority (the Church) tells them. Ultimately, its main ideas inspire the Enlightenment (since people begin to question the government) which is the basis of the French Revolution.
  • Galileo Galilei supports the heliocentric theory

    Rather than the Church-approved geocentric theory, Galilei supported the heliocentric theory that stated the Sun was at the center of the Solar System, not the Earth. This caused an uproar since nobody ever dared to speak against the Church's teachings; they were given authority by the "God-chosen" king. Supporting this theory is an early event in the Scientific Revolution that encouraged people to challenge ideas and experiment instead of always believing to what they are told.
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    English Civil War

    A war caused by the conflict between Charles I (king of England), Parliament, and Irish insurrection (Irish Rebellion). There was also a split between the Protestants and Catholic (who sided with the king) and the Puritans (who sided with Parliament).
  • Hobbes’s Leviathan is published

    Hobbes writes that an absolute monarchy is the best form of government for the people since humans are naturally selfish and violent; they need someone to protect them from making foolish decisions. He believes people must follow a government with the power of a Leviathan (a sea monster), or a powerful king.
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    Glorious Revolution

    A major event that changed England's government from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy. When James II fled after a conflict with Parliament, his daughter (Mary) her husband (William) took the throne. They agreed to the Bill of RIghts (which guaranteed all English people basic human rights) and had to obey Parliament's law.
  • Locke’s Two Treatises on Government is published

    This is written to justify the Glorious Revolution and England's new system of government (a constitutional monarchy). Locke states that a government's power comes from the people (popular sovereignty) and they have the right to overthrow a government that doesn't secure the people's rights. Many topics Locke writes about reflects the Enlightenment ideals. As people are exposed to these ideas, nations in Europe call for Revolution, changing political, social, and cultural identity.
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    A philosophical movement that dominated Europe once introduced to reasoning and challenging authority from the Scientific Revolution. People began applying this to society and the government, advocating for equality, natural rights, popular sovereignty, self determination, and social contract. Ultimately, this period of time brought a change to political identity; people had the option to choose what the government did instead of being forced to accept certain rule.
  • Diderot Publishes First Volumes of Encyclopedia

    This is a famous work representing the thought of the Enlightenment, with the purpose of changing the way people thought. Louix XV and the Pope both banned the book since it put their positions in danger; introducing such ideas to the people may result in a revolt or a call for revolution.
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    Louis XVI’s reign

    Louis XVI's reign marked the end of France's monarchical system. Married to Marie Antoinette, Louis was a weak leader who spent lavishly, emptying France's treasury on Versailles and wars. Throughout his reign, he demonstrated cowardly rule, trying to escape to Austria after having to accept a constitutional monarchy. He was eventually beheaded. This marks a significant change in the political identity of France; rather than accepting an absolute monarchy, they now have a choice.
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    American Revolution

    The American Revolution (officially began with the Battle of Lexington and Concord) was a revolution as a result of a buildup of events including the Intolerable (Coercive) Acts and Townshend Acts. The colonists of America resented that Britain imposed unfair taxes and policies upon them, resulting in a revolution and breakaway from British rule.
  • Lexington and Concord

    This battle marked the beginning of the American Revolutionary War; it was the first military engagement of American and Britain troops.
  • Declaration of Independence

    A declaration proclaiming that the colonists will have independence from Great Britain and will be a free nation. Once drafted by the Founding Fathers, the Continental Congress adopted this on July 4, 1776. It was a statement made to Britain and the rest of the world.
  • National Assembly is formed in France

    The National Assembly formed upon being locked out of the Estates-General meeting by the representatives of the Third Estate. It displays their unity, acting as a representative body. Previously, the first two estates had the power to live with privileges and endless wealth, however, we see that it made significant steps toward the French Revolution through their declaration (DOROMAC), new constitution, and demands to the king about their rights.
  • Declaration of Rights of Man

    A civil rights document drafted by Sieyès and Lafayette and adopted by the National Assembly. As seen throughout the French Revolution, the Enlightenment and its ideals played a major role toward France’s democratic way of thought. This document adopts various Enlightenment ideals such as natural rights, popular sovereignty, and equality (with the exception of women and colored people) and displays an early step toward breaking away from the system of the absolute monarchy.
  • Tennis Court Oath

    This was a vow by the representatives of the Third Estate once being locked out of the Estates-General meeting. They declared that they would finish writing their new constitution for France, which represented the relentless passion of the Third Estate to end the social hierarchy, absolute monarchy, and bring equality to the people.
  • Legislative Assembly is formed in France

    Under France's new constitution and limited monarchy, the Legislative Assembly replaced the National Assembly. One of the major acts by them is declaring war against Austria since they are angry at them for wanting Louis XVI back on the throne. Of out fear of the radicals, the Legislative Assembly eventually abolished the constitution and monarchy entirely.
  • Bill of Rights signed

    The Bill of Rights makes up the first ten amendments of the Constitution, limiting the power of the federal and state governments.
  • Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Women is published

    Published in England, this book is written to advocate for educational and social equality for women. Mary Wollstonecraft writes that women shouldn't exist only to please men; they should be given the same educational, occupational, and political opportunities that men have. During a time when women were hardly credited for anything, this was a revolutionary piece of work; society wasn't used to women speaking up for themselves.
  • Execution of Louis XVI

    On January 21, 1793, Louis XVI was beheaded on the guillotine in Paris. His poor leadership and weak rule over France made the people angry, and he was killed for treason; trying to escape when France needed him the most, failing to address France's financial crisis, and being unsuccessful in leading France. He was the last king of France, and later the death of his wife marked the end of the absolute monarchy.
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    Reign of Terror

    A time of remorseless repression and bloodshed led by Maximilien Robespierre and the Committee of Public Safety. They began to kill innocent people, saying that they were "enemies of the republic". But 85% of the 40,000 dead were peasants, nobody was safe, and fear constantly dwelled in the people. This displays a violation of the Enlightenment ideals once upheld during the Revolution. Robespierre became a figure similar to Louis XVI; an absolute ruler. It only ended when he was beheaded.
  • Execution of Marie Antoinette

    Similarly to her husband, Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette was executed for treason on the guillotine nine months after him. While Marie didn't account for as many responsibilities, she still spent France's money extravagantly on luxuries and riches so much that the people called her Madame Deficit. Along with this, being unable to conceive made them even angrier since it was her duty to France to bear an heir to the throne. Following the king, the execution of the queen ended the French monarchy.
  • Napoleon’s coup

    Napoleon, along with a group of his followers, overthrew the Directory of five by a coup d'état, announcing that he would take over France's government until it was stable enough to manage itself. After the Reign of Terror, this is another time when the French strayed away from the Enlightenment ideals; they were willing to compromise this in exchange for a little peace and stability after a decade of chaos (because the Directory wasn't able to provide any order in France).