How Did The Scientific Revolution Influence The Enlightenment

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The Enlightenment was a radical intellectual revolution that shook Western Culture dramatically in the 17th and 18th centuries. The Scientific Revolution that had preceded the Enlightenment influenced the Enlightenment greatly. A few individuals sought to implement the scientific method in the studies of economics, politics, social organization, and religion. The idea that tied all these fields together during the Enlightenment was that all human beings had basic rights. Although there were Enlightenment scholars like Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who distrusted the idea of a democratic society, nearly all believed in the basic rights of individuals. The idea of basic rights for all people clearly affected the way people interpreted government. Most of the scholars at the…show more content…
The practice of serfdom, that denied peasants of basic rights as people, led to mercantilism. Mercantilism was an economic system that advocated governments to closely monitor their import-to-export ratio in order to maintain a favorable balance of trade. In this system, governments had an enormous amount of authority over their economies. This allowed for most of the wealth gained from trading to flow into the purses of government officials. Common people were discouraged from trading, because they had nothing to gain. The Enlightenment brought forth the idea of free trade with limited government oversight. This idea would be much more beneficial to both society and the individual, and a famous Scot named Adam Smith elaborated upon this in his famous book, “Wealth of Nations”. He broke the idea into three pieces: first, people work more productively when there is self-interest; second, more competition would lead to a balanced marketplace; and lastly, true supply and demand are a result of free trade. Nowadays, many modern nations have carried out the idea of free trade, and both the people and state have benefitted from

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