Portal:Age of Enlightenment

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Introduction

The Enlightenment (also known as the Age of Enlightenment or the Age of Reason; French: le Siècle des Lumières, lit. 'the Century of Lights'; German: Aufklärung, "Enlightenment"; Italian: L’Illuminismo, “Enlightenment”; Polish: Oświecenie, "Enlightenment"; Spanish: La Ilustración, "Enlightenment") was an intellectual and philosophical movement that dominated the world of ideas in Europe during the 18th century, the "Century of Philosophy".

French historians traditionally place the Enlightenment between 1715 (the year that Louis XIV died) and 1789 (the beginning of the French Revolution). International historians begin the period in the 1620s, with the start of the scientific revolution. Les philosophes (French for "the philosophers") of the period widely circulated their ideas through meetings at scientific academies, Masonic lodges, literary salons, coffee houses and in printed books and pamphlets. The ideas of the Enlightenment undermined the authority of the monarchy and the Church and paved the way for the political revolutions of the 18th and 19th centuries. A variety of 19th-century movements, including liberalism and neo-classicism, trace their intellectual heritage to the Enlightenment.

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