The French materialists were a group of French 18th-century philosophers during the Enlightenment. According to Wikipedia, “French materialism is the name given to a handful of French 18th-century philosophers during the Age of Enlightenment, many of them clustered around the salon of Baron d’Holbach. Although there are important differences between them, all of them were materialists who believed that the world was made up of a single substance, matter, the motions and properties of which could be used to explain all phenomena.”

Adam Smith and the “invisible hand”. Adam Smith was a key figure in the Scottish Enlightenment. He was a Scottish philosopher and economist. He was also a pioneer in the thinking of political economy. His metaphor the “invisible hand” referrers to the “unseen forces that move the free market economy”, according to Investopedia. This metaphor first appeared in Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations.

The War of the Austrian Succession, according to Britannica, was a “group of related wars that took place after the death (1740) of Emperor Charles VI. At issue was the right of Charles’s daughter Maria Theresa to inherit the Habsburg lands. The war began when Frederick II of Prussia invaded Silesia in 1740.” According to Wikipedia, “The War of the Austrian Succession was a European conflict that took place between 1740 and 1748. Fought primarily in Central Europe, the Austrian Netherlands, Italy, the Atlantic and Mediterranean, related conflicts included King George’s War in North America, the the War of Jenkin’s Ear, the First Carnatic War and the First and Second Silesian Wars.”

The main ideas we associate with the Enlightenment. It was believed that during the Enlightenment, human reasoning could be used to discover truths about the world, religion, and politics and could be used to make the lives of people better. Another important idea was skepticism about received wisdom. Everything had to be tested and proven correct. Other Enlightenment ideas were religious tolerance and the idea that people should be free from coercion in their personal lives and consciences.

Leonhard Euler was a Swiss physicist, astronomer, logician, engineer, geographer, and mathematician. According to Wikipedia, he also “founded the studies of graph theory and topology and made pioneering and influential discoveries in many other branches of mathematics such as analytic number theory, complex analysis, and infinitesimal calculus.” He was alive from 1707 to 1783, so he was alive during the Scientific Revolution. According to, “Euler was the first to introduce the notation for a function f(x). He also popularized the use of the Greek letter π to denote the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Euler also made contributions in the fields of number theory, graph theory, logic, and applied mathematics.” Also, he was extremely good at math. He could do calculations in his head that does not seem possible to some people.

The Ptolemaic-Aristotelian view of the universe. According to Vassar College, “In this cosmology, the earth does not revolve around anything else or rotate around its own axis. It is surrounded by ten concentric spheres made of a perfectly transparent substance known as “quintessence.” These spheres revolve around the earth, carrying the other celestial bodies.” So, this is not what we associate with the universe today. In today’s world, we associate our universe (galaxy) as the sun in the center with eight planets and their moons revolving on their axis’s around the sun.

(1) Mannerism and the Baroque: According to Wikipedia, “Mannerism, which may also be known as Late Renaissance, is a style in European art that emerged in the later years of the Italian High Renaissance around 1520, spreading by about 1530 and lasting until about the end of the 16th century in Italy, when the Baroque style largely replaced it.” Mannerism was taken from the Italian word maniera, which means “style”. The Baroque was, according to Wikipedia, “a style of architecture, music, dance, painting, sculpture, poetry, and other arts that flourished in Europe from the early 17th century until the 1750s.” Spectacle, illusion, movement, and biblical genre painting are the four main characteristics of the Baroque.

(2) Peter the Great: According to Wikipedia, “Peter I, most commonly known as Peter the Great, was a Russian monarch who ruled the Tsardom of Russia from 7 May [O.S. 27 April] 1682 to 1721 and subsequently the Russian Empire until his death in 1725, jointly ruling with his elder half-brother, Ivan V until 1696.” When he was young, Peter traveled the world looking for ideas to take back to Russia to help improve it, and when he became “king”, he flipped the country on its back. He completely changed the rules. For example, all men wore beards and long hair, and when Peter took over, he made it illegal to wear a beard unless you pay a fine. A lot of other rules got changed like this one. According to Library of Congress, “His major achievements include the founding of St. Petersburg in 1703, the victory against Sweden at the Battle of Poltava in 1709, and the birth of the Russian navy, Peter’s lifelong passion.

(3) Frederick William: According to Wikipedia, “Frederick William was Elector of Brandenburg and Duke of Prussia, thus ruler of Brandenburg-Prussia, from 1640 until his death in 1688. A member of the House of Hohenzollern, he is popularly known as “the Great Elector” because of his military and political achievements.” Along with other accomplishments, William completely freed the surfs, abolished hereditary leases, and settled several peasant colonists and worked to stabilize the circumstances of peasant subjects on state domains and noble estates.

According to Wikipedia, “Mercantilism is an economic policy that is designed to maximize the exports and minimize the imports for an economy. It promotes imperialism, colonialism, tariffs and subsidies on traded goods to achieve that goal.” Mercantilism is pretty much just an economic practice used to augment state power at the expense of other countries. A historic example of this would be the Sugar Act of 1764. This was a time where the colonists were made to pay higher tariffs and duties on the imports of foreign-made sugar brought to them by  other countries.

The War of the Spanish Succession lasted from 1701 to 1750. The death of childless King Charles II of Spain triggered the war. In Charles’ will, he left the throne to Philip, Duke of Anjou, grandson of King Louis XIV of France. However, England, Holland, Prussia and Austria saw this as jeopardizing the balance of power in Europe. They formed a group called the Grand Alliance and tried to put Habsburg Archduke Charles of Austria on the throne instead of Philip. Eventually war broke out, but it eventually stopped with a negotiated end with Philip on the throne.

According to Wikipedia, “The Edict of Nantes was signed in April 1598 by King Henry IV and granted the Calvinist Protestants of France, also known as Huguenots, substantial rights in the nation, which was in essence completely Catholic. In the edict, Henry aimed primarily to promote civil unity.” The Edict of Nantes put a temporary stop to the religious wars between Roman Catholics and Protestants which had torn France apart ever since the 1560s.

(1) What were Cardinal Richelieu’s primary aims? According to Wikipedia, “Armand Jean du Plessis, Duke of Richelieu, known as Cardinal Richelieu, was a French clergyman and statesman. He was also known as l’Éminence rouge, or “the Red Eminence”, a term derived from the title “Eminence” applied to cardinals and the red robes that they customarily wear.” Cardinal Richelieu had two primary goals. The first was the centralization of power in France, and the second was opposition to the Habsburg dynasty.

(2) What factors contributed to the decline of Spain? Some of the main factors that lead to the decline of Spain were expensive warfare, rebellions and revolts, and much of the economic activity was controlled by monopolies and state favorites.

(3) What is constitutionalism? According to Wikipedia, “Constitutionalism is ‘a compound of ideas, attitudes, and patterns of behavior elaborating the principle that the authority of government derives from and is limited by a body of fundamental law’.”

(4) What do you think Hobbes’ main arguments are in the excerpts you read from his Leviathan? According to StudyMode Research, “The central thesis of Leviathan is the idea that in order for human society to function without widespread conflict there is a need for totalitarian rule in the form of a Leviathan, necessitated by man’s continual state of fear in a state of nature caused by limited knowledge of the outside world and therefore the intentions of other humans.”

What was English life like under Oliver Cromwell? Cromwell was a Puritan, so he was very strict with his laws. In fact, anyone who was seen playing a specific game on Sunday would be whipped and punished. His laws were very strict. He even banned Christmas as we would have known it today. Over time, Cromwell became a hated man. Cromwell eventually died in 1658. Later, his body was put on trial, found guilty, and “executed” it.

What was the Glorious Revolution? The Glorious Revolution involved replacing King James II with his daughter Mary and her husband William of Orange. The reasons for this revolution were mainly religious oppositions. Why is the Glorious Revolution significant in English history? According to History, “Many historians believe the Glorious Revolution was one of the most important events leading to Britain’s transformation from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy. After this event, the monarchy in England would never hold absolute power again.”

On what grounds does Locke believe people can establish a claim to property ownership over a previously unowned good? According to Libertarianism, “…Locke held that individuals could come to acquire property rights in previously unowned goods by ‘mixing their labour’ with it, ‘for this labour being the unquestionable property of the labourer, no man but he can have a right to what that is once joined to'”

What was the English Civil War all about? According to Wikipedia, “The English Civil War was a series of civil wars and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists led by Charles I, mainly over the manner of England’s governance and issues of religious freedom.” Eventually, the Parliamentarians were victorious in this war and sentenced Charles I to death. Eleven years later, Charles I’s son, Charles II, ascended to the throne. The losses of this war were crazy high, nearly 4.5% of the entire population. This war was devastating to England.

Who were the Levellers, and what did they believe? According to Wikipedia, “The Levellers were a political movement active during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms who were committed to popular sovereignty, extended suffrage, equality before the law and religious tolerance.” The name levellers was a derisory term used for rural rebels. Many members would have preferred to be referred to as “agitators”, however, the name “levellers” just stuck.

What was the key issue that led to the outbreak of the Thirty Years’ War? The main cause for the thirty years war was when Emperor Ferdinand II tried to force the protestants into Catholicism and the protestants rebelled, causing the outbreak of the thirty years war. The war eventually ended with the Peace of Westphalia. What religious accommodation was reached by Catholics and Protestants in the Peace of Westphalia? Basically, this peace meant that the two religions were recognized as equal and that the princes were allowed to choose any religion for their territory and force the people in that territory to conform to that religion.

(1) What were the causes and consequences of the Spanish revolt that occurred after Charles left to be crowned Holy Roman Emperor? When Charles was crowned king of Spain, he left Spain a little while later to be crowned the Holy Roman Emperor. While he was away, there was a revolt in Spain. The people who revolted appointed a new ruler, Queen Joanna, Charles’ own mother. About a year later, the Comuneros were defeated at the Battle of Villalar and the Comuneros were crushed, ending the revolt and the Comuneros leaders were executed.

(2) What were the causes of the Dutch revolt? What was the “demonstration effect”? According to The Memory, “The Dutch Revolt or Eighty Years’ War was a series of battles fought in the Netherlands between 1568 and 1648 which began when part of the Habsburg Empire resisted the, in their eyes, unjust rule of the Spanish King Philip II.” The results of the Dutch revolt were economic, political, and religious ones, but it was the religious problems that really got the revolt fired up. The “demonstration effect” is when people saw what other nations do, and try to implicate that into their own nation. The Dutch Republic was very successful at the time, and other countries tried to replicate that into their own countries.

(3) Who were the contenting parties in the French wars of religion? What was the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre? What was the Edict of Nantes? According to Lumen, “The French Wars of Religion (1562–98) is the name of a period of fighting between French Catholics and Protestants (Huguenots).” The Catholics really did not like the Huguenots, so they tried everything they could to try to get the Huguenots to either convert to Catholicism, or to leave/die. Eventually they asked the king if they could just go kill a bunch of Huguenots in a city. Since the king was like stressed out at this point, the king agreed. This killing ended up being named the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre. Hundreds of Huguenots died that day. Eventually, the Edict of Nantes was signed, ending the dispute between Catholics and Protestants.

(4) Describe the religious policy of Elizabeth I. Some people thought that she had no religion because of her attracted to parts of Catholicism while part of a different religion. She even changed her religion when she became queen in order to create a stable and peaceful nation. She kept changing her religion, so I am not sure that she had a permanent religion.

How was the English Reformation different from the German Reformation? There were several different ways in which these two reformations were different. One of the differences is they differed in doctrine, but the main difference is motivation. The German Reformation’s motivation was belief mainly, while the motivation of the English Reformation was mainly politics.

What do we learn about St. Francis Xavier’s missionary work in the letter you read for lesson 13? This letter was written by St. Francis Xavier and was named the letter from India, to the Society of Jesus at Rome. It is in this letter that we find out that St. Francis wanted to travel the world, and teach others about Jesus. Well, he got to do this. He even got the chance to evangelize in Japan. He was trying to get to China to share the Gospel, but died before he could.

What kind of impression are you left with by the Spiritual Exercises? Why is Ignatius concerned about careless discussion of faith and good works? According to Wikipedia, “The Spiritual Exercises, composed 1522–1524, are a set of Christian meditations, contemplations, and prayers written by Ignatius of Loyola, a 16th-century Spanish priest, theologian, and founder of the Society of Jesus.” The Spiritual Exercises were ultimately designed to undermine the Protestant belief. These Exercises were meant to counter the Protestant views, and the Protestant’s views in the 1500’s were based on faith. So, Ignatius puts an emphasis on works rather than faith.

How would you describe the condition of the Catholic Church on the eve of the Protestant Reformation? According to History, the Protestant Reformation was “the 16th-century religious, political, intellectual and cultural upheaval that splintered Catholic Europe, setting in place the structures and beliefs that would define the continent in the modern era.”

During this time there was a rise in High Masses, literary works being published, people listening to famous preachers, and pilgrimages. But, some of the things that these people did were not all good. During this time, the wars were savage, there were executions which were not uncommon, and people would be tortured for months and then killed.

The conditions in the Church itself was worse. Church members were preforming immoral conduct, they collected money from the public, and there was a lot of clerical ignorance because there were no seminaries to teach the preachers.

Above all, the Church was in desperate need for a reform, but it was not until the sixteenth century that reformation would at last arrive.

What were the Ninety-Five Theses about? What was the basic message of Luther’s complaint? According to Wikipedia, “The Ninety-five Theses or Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences is a list of propositions for an academic disputation written in 1517 by Martin Luther, professor of moral theology at the University of Wittenberg, at the time controlled by the Electorate of Saxony.” Basically, the message he was trying to get across is that, according to History, “In his theses, Luther condemned the excesses and corruption of the Roman Catholic Church, especially the papal practice of asking payment—called “indulgences”—for the forgiveness of sins.” I am just going to say, paying for forgiveness for your sins is so dumb. Why pay for it when you can just do it for free? I think that this is one of the reasons that Luther was so against indulgences.