UNIT 1: THE 18th CENTURY. THE AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT (Economic changes (The…
UNIT 1: THE 18th CENTURY. THE AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT
Old Regime and Enlightenment
The characteristics of the Old Regime were
stratified society predomined by the privileged groups
absolutist political system
great influence of religion in people, culture and art
The Enlightenment was a movement that started in France. The most outstanding ideas were
confidence in reason or human intelligence
faith in human progress
criticism of the Old Regime
Art and culture
Rococo decoration was made of stucco with delicate, undulating and irregular shapes, and it was applied in small salons and recieving rooms.
Painting used feathering, soft colours and varied themes: courtiers, lovers, and portraits.
Sculpture sought ideal beauty, simplicity and serenity. Its favourite subjects were mithology, ancient history and portraits.
Painting sought perfection in drawing and lost interest in colour. Its favourite themes were mythological and historical.
Architecture imitated Greek and Roman models and adopted pure and simple forms.
Culture during the Enlightenment: Enlightened intellectuals encouraged public education in order to prevent ignorance and ideological control by the church
Enlightened despotism: tried to reconcile absolutism with the progressive ideas of the Enlightenment
Criticism of absolute monarchy: the power of the king became much more limited
Society and everyday life
Social changes in the 18th century
Enlightened intellectuals began criticising the privileged classes and defended a social division based on merit, personal worth and social usefulness. They criticised the nobility and the clergy
The bourgeoisie became an increasingly numerous and active group. Enriched because of their economic activities, they considered themselves as producers of wealth and complained that they unfairly lacked social recognition and political influence.
The nobility lived in mansions with many rooms. Their clothing was characterised by the richness of their fabrics and embellishments. Food was abundant, refined and diversified. The high clergy and bourgeoisie lived similarly to them.
The common people lived in peasant houses that usually had two rooms and agrigultural annexes. They wore clothing made of cheap fabrics and ate brown bread, soup and vegetables
Population growth: in the 18th century, the European population grew from 130 to 190 million people due to the decline in mortality due to improved nutrition, absence of major epidemics and the decline in the number of wars
The new economic policies: in the 18th century, Enlightenment ideas supported the birth of new economic policies
Physiocracy believed that the wealth of a nation was based solely on the land.
Economic liberalism claimed that individual work, which aims to obtain maximum personal benefit, is the true source of wealth.
Agricultural transformation: in the 18th century, agriculture made significant progress. New crops from America such as maize and potatoes began to spread, thus diversifying the diet.
Changes in craftsmenship: in the 18th century, handicraft production grew, and new methods were developed aimed at preventing the control of the guilds
Cottage industries developed where work was carried out by the peasants in their own homes. The employer paid them a salary, provided raw materials and tools
Manufacture was carried out in large specialised workshops where numerous craftsmen worked for wages for the state or for private individuals manufacturing luxury items