The European Enlightenment

Enlightenment Gallery


Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century European ENLIGHT

Louis XIV

King of France, 1643-1715, Louis XIV developed the centralized monarchical government that was to characterize European government in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; under Louis, monarchical rule came to develop a new political theory called "absolute monarchy." Louis XIV and absolute monarchy are discussed in the chapter, "Pre-Enlightenment Europe."
Public domain. From Thomas Macaulay, The History of England , (London: Macmillan, 1913).
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Louis XIV

Finance minister to Louis XIVKing of France, 1643-1715, Colbert is credited with developing the first modern financial administration of a centralized state in European history. Colbert and Louis XIV are discussed in the chapter, "Pre-Enlightenment Europe."
Public domain. From Thomas Macaulay, The History of England , (London: Macmillan, 1913).
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Frederick William

Elector of Brandenburg from 1640-1688. called the "Great Elector" or Frederick the Great. In the seventeenth century, Prussia was transformed through the efforts of Frederick William through the adoption of absolutist principles developed in France. Frederick the Great is discussed in the chapter, "Pre-Enlightenment Europe."
Public domain. From Thomas Macaulay, The History of England , (London: Macmillan, 1913).
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William Faithorne, Peter I in Russian Dress

Tsar of Russia, 1682-1725. Peter strengthened the Russian Empire by adopting Western models of government, particularly the model of absolute monarchy developed in France. Frederick the Great is discussed in the chapter, "Pre-Enlightenment Europe."
Public domain. From Thomas Macaulay, The History of England , (London: Macmillan, 1913).
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J. Smith, Peter I in Armor

Public domain. From Thomas Macaulay, The History of England , (London: Macmillan, 1913).
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Daniel MytensCharles I

King of England, 1625-1649. Charles reigned during the strongest challenges to monarchical power in England up until that time; defying Parliament, he fell victim to English Revolutionary forces who eventually arrested and executed him. Charles I and the English Civil War are discussed in the chapter, "The Case of England."
Public domain. From Thomas Macaulay, The History of England , (London: Macmillan, 1913).
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Robert Walker, Oliver Cromwell

Leader of the English Puritan Republic and later Lord High Protector of England, Oliver Cromwell for all intents and purposes served as the monarch of England from 1650 to 1660. Although the Revolutionary forces wished to create a Republic similar to that of pre-imperial Rome, they had no executive model other than that of kingship. Oliver Cromwell and the Puritan Republic are discussed in the chapter, "The Case of England."
Public domain. From Thomas Macaulay, The History of England , (London: Macmillan, 1913).
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Oliver Cromwell as King, a Dutch satirical caricature

When Cromwell's power became increasingly autocratic, the final straw came when he named his own son as the heir to the English Protectorate. Presuming to be king in all but name, both monarchical and anti-monarchical forces throughout Europe characterized him in this manner. Oliver Cromwell and the Puritan Republic are discussed in the chapter, "The Case of England."
Public domain. From Thomas Macaulay, The History of England , (London: Macmillan, 1913).
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William Faithorne young Charles II in an engraving by Faithorne

King of England, 1660-1685. Son of Charles I, the young Charles spent his youth as an exile in France. Restored to the throne in 1660 (the Restoration), King Charles II repeated many of the same mistakes when he tried to institute an absolute monarchy along the lines of Louis XIV in France. Charles II and the Restoration are discussed in the chapter, "The Case of England."
Public domain. From Thomas Macaulay, The History of England , (London: Macmillan, 1913).
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John Michael Wright, Charles II

King of England, 1660-1685. Charles II is discussed in the chapter, "The Case of England."
Public domain. From Thomas Macaulay, The History of England , (London: Macmillan, 1913).
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Charles II in a mezzotint by Sherwin

King of England, 1660-1685. Charles II is discussed in the chapter, "The Case of England."
Public domain. From Thomas Macaulay, The History of England , (London: Macmillan, 1913).
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Charles II in a mezzotint by Sherwin

Catherine of Breganza, Queen of England and wife of Charles II, King of England, 1660-1685. Charles II is discussed in the chapter, "The Case of England."
Public domain. From Thomas Macaulay, The History of England , (London: Macmillan, 1913).
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Charles II in a mezzotint by Sherwin

Catherine of Breganza, Queen of England and wife of Charles II, King of England, 1660-1685. Charles II is discussed in the chapter, "The Case of England."
Public domain. From Thomas Macaulay, The History of England , (London: Macmillan, 1913).
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Sir Peter Lely, Eleanor Gwyn,

Eleanor Gwyn was an actress in the English Restoration theater who became the mistress of Charles II, King of England from 1660 to 1685.. Charles II is discussed in the chapter, "The Case of England."

Public domain. From Thomas Macaulay, The History of England , (London: Macmillan, 1913).
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William Faithorne, John Milton in a seventeenth century engraving by Faithorne.

Seventeenth century English poet and author of the work, Paradise Lost .. John Milton is discussed in his own chapter "John Milton, and a short selection from Paradise Lost is included in the reader as Satan's Argument."
Public domain. From Thomas Macaulay, The History of England , (London: Macmillan, 1913).
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Frontispiece to Leviathan, by Thomas Hobbes

The title page sums up visually much of the innovative argument of Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan , one of the most influential books of political theory in the seventeenth century. Hobbes and his political and social theories are discussed in "Seventeenth Century Enlightenment Thought."
Public domain. From Thomas Macaulay, The History of England , (London: Macmillan, 1913).
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The Synod of Dort in a seventeenth century Dutch engraving.

The Synod of Dort was the last attempt to come to terms with the proliferation of Protestant thought, practice, theology, and social theory. In an attempt to find a common ground for Protestant nations, the synod split between Calvinists and more conservative members. The Synod of Dort is discussed in the chapter, "The Crisis and Dissolution of European Christianity."
Public domain. From Thomas Macaulay, The History of England , (London: Macmillan, 1913).
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John Vanderbank, Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton, through the publication of the Principia Mathematica , is credited with the formulation of the mechanistic universe which has dominated Western science and thought since the eighteenth century. Isaac Newton is discussed in the chapter, "The Scientific Revolution."
Public domain. From Thomas Macaulay, The History of England , (London: Macmillan, 1913).
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1997, Richard Hooker
Updated 1-25-98