Similarities Between The French Revolution And The Enlightenment

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To begin with, it is important to mention that the Enlightenment was such a broad and popular movement that it is extremely difficult to define, since it had some distinct strands such as the "political Enlightenment" and the "scientific Enlightenment". A close look at the data indicates that the Enlightenment is known for producing various scientific thinkers and their discoveries (Gregory, 2010). Thus, Galileo's development of a telescope led to significant advances in astronomy; Isaac Newton made serious contributions in the fields of mathematics and physics; and Benjamin Franklin's experiments led to an understanding of electricity. Obviously, these men began to look for answers to natural phenomena where Biblical or religious answers had…show more content…
Evidently, once Napoleon had seized serious power, he made the Voltairean project his own. Without any doubts, Napoleon could fairly claim to be someone other than a common military dictator. He introduced some kind of the scientific government. Moreover, he gave his patronage to various intellectuals who saw themselves as the participatns of the Enlightenment, such as Destutt de Tracy, Cabanis, Volney, and Daunou. He furthered the creation of specific Baconian institutions like the lycees, the Polytechnique, and the several ecoles normales. Napoleon made education a central part of imperial policy. Obviously, Napoleon modified the Voltairean political theory of enlightened absolutism in the way that Voltaire could not have approved. Thus, Napoleon introduced something similar to a democratic element by making his military despotism plebiscitary. On the other hand, Napoleon re-established the Catholic Church and made his military adventures, which contradicted the ideas of Voltaire. Undoubtedly, Napoleon's conquests seemed to significantly diminish rather than increase his personal attachment to the ideals of freedom and science (Doyle,
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