In the late 17th century and the 18th century, enlightened thought and reforms, which represented a sharp break with the preceding Baroque period and age of confessionalism, occurred in various European countries and worldwide and developed everywhere relatively undisturbed until the French Revolution (1789). Our concept of modernity stems from the Enlightenment as well as the antirational Romantic movement that followed it. Many, if not all, of the processes of modernization, such as industrialization, urbanization, establishment of democratic governance and civic society, and social and educational reforms have their roots and legitimacy in Enlightenment thought. The French Revolution, with its stress on human freedom, equality, and fraternity, viewed itself as the daughter of the Enlightenment. However, so did the ideas of the absolutism of the ...

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