The Scientific Revolution

The Scientific Revolution
Early 16th Century science was based
on Aristotle.
Motionless earth fixed in the
center of the universe
Surrounded by celestial spheres
The Great Chain of Being
Francis Bacon
 The Scientific Method – A new way to do
 Inductive-
Bacon and Descartes'
(Bacon = inductive,
Descartes = deductive)
 Bacon – Formalizes the empirical method
 Descartes' – proves correspondence
between geometry and algebra.. Creates
analytic geometry.
– Dualism – Mind and matter or the physical and
the spiritual
William Harvey
 Medicine – Circular flow of blood from the
The Telescope
 1473-1543
 Clergyman
 The universe revolved around a fixed sun
 Did not publish works until the year of his
Change of World View
 The immense size of the universe
 The earthly world was similar to the heavens…
earth is just another planet
 Where was the kingdom of heaven?
 Did not Joshua bid the sun to stand still and not
the earth
 1616 The Catholic Church declares Copernican
theory as false
Brahe, Kepler, and Galileo
 Brahe collected data
 Kepler’s 3laws of planetary motions
– Elliptical
– Did not move at a uniform speed
– The time it takes to orbit is directly related to the distance
from the sun
Galileo 1564 - 1642
 Experimental method
 Law of inertia
 Changed a telescope from Holland and pointed it
toward the heavens
 Observed that the moon, is in many ways, like the
surface of the earth. Western civilization turns the
Making sense of the universe
Nature and nature's light
were hidden by night/ Then
God said "Let Newton be!"
and then there was light" –
Alexander Pope
Newton “” 1647-1727
 Law of Universal Gravitation – attraction to
other bodies… precise and mathematical
The Solar System
Causes of the Scientific
 The Medieval Universities – Application of
scientific reasoning - and math from the
 The Renaissance – Humanism search of
knowledge through antiquity improves math
 The need for navigation tools - longitude
Science and the Church
 Were Protestants more open to science?
– Where there was a strong central religious
authority religious dogma ruled
• Italy
• Holland
• England
Consequences of the Scientific
 Gave rise to international scientific
 New way of obtaining more knowledge
– More critical
– Refused to base its conclusions on established
But… little evidence that it was due to economic
factors. It was first and foremost an intellectual
However – revolutions are
 Science and industrial arts exalted
 Religion and morality are questioned
 Knowledge was important because it made
possible social, economic and political
Causes for uncertainty
 Scholars were cautious – as institutions
could condemn
 Previous wars of religion – Thirty Years
War. A strong state demanded religious
 Skepticism – Bayle – nothing could ever be
known beyond doubt
Skepticism- as the world shrinks
 Europeans cut their beards and grew their
hair long.
 Turks shaved their heads and grew their
beards long.
 John Locke – rejects Descarte – with his
tabula rasa
 Locke’s Essay Concerning Human
Understanding as the equal to Newton’s
The Enlightenment
 Natural science should be used understand
all aspects of life… rationalism
 Scientific method could be used to discover
laws about human society… The birth of
the social sciences.
 Progress… Human being could create better
The French Philosophes
 Were they philosophers?
 More like early sociologists
 Why France
– French was the language of the educated
– “Scientists” were not as suppressed as other parts of the
What were their concerns
Determined to reach the all of Europe’s educated
elite… The Public…not “the blind and noisy multitude”
– Careful not to directly attack powerful institutions they
wrote plays, books and satires that were not distributed
widely or had had double meanings
Reformers More than
 Montesquieu – separation of powers
 Francois Marie Arouet – Voltaire – satire
and religious toleration but never social or
economic equality.
 Diderot - encyclopedia
 Madame du Chatelet
 Deists
The Later Enlightenment-1770
 D’Holbach – Humans are machines – free will is a
myth – B.F. Skinner “Beyond Freedom and
Dignity … positive and negative reinforcement
(Late 60’s USA)
 David Hume(1711-1776) The human mind is
simply a bundle of impressions
 Rousseau – The noble savage… Institutions that
were created for progress actually corrupt
More Rousseau…
 “The Social Contract”
– The General Will – reflects the common
interest of the people
– Popular Sovereignty
– More on the general will… dictators and
democrats have used this to usurp power
Urban Culture and Public
 Books sales explode
 Less religious and more books on the arts and
sciences (1780)
 Smuggled books evaded censorship
Women using sex to conquer weak men
Germany permitted freedom of the press
The Salons – Free From
 Women brought important men to discuss
the latest literature, science and philosophy
 Elite women exercised influence in the arts
– Rococo
– Greater education for women
– Madam Geoffrin
The Enlightenment and
 Benevolent absolutism was the best
opportunity to improve society.
 The people are children that need parental
Prussia, Russia, and Austria
 Prussia
– Frederick II (The Great) (r.1740-1786)
• Daddy was the “solider king”
• Sonny tries to run away with his best friend and
Daddy cuts his friend’s head off
• But… in 1740 he inherits the throne and invades
• The War of Austrian Succession
The War of Austrian Succession
 1740-1748 Prussia adds 6 mil to its
 Austria would not let Silesia go peacefully
– Maria Theresa allied herself with France and
Russia in the Seven Years War (In America it
was called the French Indian War (1756-1763)
Frederick The Great Holds on
But Gives in
 Peter III 1762 calls off the attack
 The Seven Years War tempers his policies
– Religious and academic toleration
– Improved schools
– Improved agriculture and industry
– “Only the first servant of the state”
– Did not free his own serfs
– Kept the right to expel the Jews whenever he
Catherine the Great of Russia
 German
 Peter the Great abolished hereditary
 Catherine has Peter III killed for
withdrawing from the Seven Years War
Catherine had drunk deeply at the
enlightenment well
 Three main goals
– Bring sophisticated western culture to Russia
• Bring in western architecture
• Corresponds with Voltaire
– Domestic reform
• Pugachev’s revolt 1773
• Peasants are dangerous
• 1775- nobles have absolute control of their serfs
Goals… continued
 Territorial Expansion
– Successful
• Crimea
• Caucasus
• Poland , divided among Austria, Russia, and Prussia
– Kept Russian noble happy
Austrian Habsburgs
 Maria Theresa
– Limited power of the papacy
– Strengthened central bureaucracy
– Improve the life of agricultural workers
 Joseph II…Coregent to 1780 and ruled to
– Controlled the Catholic Church more closely
– Religious toleration for Protestants and Jews
– Abolishes serfdom from 1781-1789 (led to
turmoil from the nobles… cancelled in 1791)
Absolutism is France
 King was still the best source of reform
 Louis XIV dies 1715. Nobles under the
Duke of Orleans make a comeback
 Restored the high courts of France – the
Parlements… They maintained the right to
evaluate decrees before they became law
 What once were middle-class judges were
now well entrenched in the aristocracy
The Parlement of Paris
 5% tax on everyone (because of the War of
Austrian Succession) was dropped.
 Seven Years War 1756-1763 King tries to impose
emergency taxes
 Parlement of Paris rejects the tax “ to limit the
king’s power and protect liberty.”
 No taxes without the consent of The Parlement of
Louis XV Reacts
 Mapeou establishes a new more docile Parlement
 The king of his royal aura
– Pornography
– Scandal mongering
– The commoners of Paris were beginning to stir
– Royal power was strong enough to ride over the
opposition but the king dies in 1774
– Louis XVI “What I should like most is to be loved.”
Overall influence of the
 France unlike the its eastern neighbors saw
a decline in absolutism
 The Enlightened Monarchs
– They did spread cultural values of the
Enlightenment… especially Frederick and
• Secular
• Education and interest in the arts
• Reforms that would strengthen the state and
compete militarily…
Absolutists continued
 Put state building reforms in a broader
 How humane laws could make the
population more productive
– Tolerating religious minorities
– Simplifying legal codes and promoting
practical education