Europe and the World
- Global commercial links expanded into a worldwide trade network.
- Mercantilism and the transatlantic slave-labor system maintained European control in the colonies.
- Europeans were exposed to a greater number of representations of peoples outside Europe.
- Colonial rivalry between Britain and France intensified in a series of wars on several continents.
- Enlightenment ideas influenced the American Revolution, which then influenced the French Revolution.
- The American and French Revolutions inspired the slave revolt in Haiti.
- The Napoleonic Wars disrupted trade and influenced colonies.
Poverty and Prosperity
- Agricultural products from the Americas and farming techniques of the Agricultural Revolution increased the food supply. The population grew.
- Migration from rural to urban areas increased.
- The putting-out system was a form of proto-industrialization.
- The European-dominated global trade network fueled a consumer economy. Art and literature reflected the values of a commercial society. Free trade and a free market challenged mercantilist trade limitations.
- The Enlightenment questioned social inequality.
- The French Revolution and Napoleonic reforms promoted greater social equality.
Objective Knowledge and Subjective Visions
- New public venues and print media increased public discourse and popularized rational and empirical thought.
- Enlightenment spawned new political and economic theories. Scientific principles were applied to resolving social problems and organizing social institutions.
- Enlightenment notions of natural religion and toleration challenged religious establishments.
- As absolute monarchs extended their power and control, philosophers challenged absolutism and inspired liberal revolts.
- The role of women in political life was debated.
- The Catholic Church's influence was attacked during the French Revolution. Civil rights were granted to Jews.
- The French Revolutionary era awoke nationalistic sentiments among European peoples.
States and Institutes of Power
- Louis XIV epitomized absolutism in France. Britain and the Dutch Republic developed constitutional states.
- Enlightenment philosophers studied the social contract, identified natural rights, and espoused egalitarianism. Increased literacy expanded public discourse.
- Dynastic, colonial, and revolutionary wars challenged the balance of power.
- Prussia, Austria, and Russia emerged as powerful states.
- Warfare centralized state power during the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars and inspired nationalism both in France and French-occupied nations.
- The role and rights of women and minorities were debated during the French Revolution.
Individual and Society
- The Agricultural Revolution swelled the population and spurred urban migration.
- The literate public expanded.
- Rising life expectancy and societal prosperity changed attitudes regarding children.
- The slave trade expanded and was criticized.
- Women hosted Enlightenment salons providing venues for public discourse. Women's roles and rights were debated throughout the Enlightenment, French Revolution, and Napoleonic eras.
- Feudal social relations were attacked during the French Revolution. Many aristocrats fled France and resisted the revolution.
- Extreme measures were used to suppress counterrevolutionary activities during the Reign of Terror.
- Napoleon promoted meritocracy in the French army and empire.
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