What Is Illuminated Absolutism?

The enlightened absolutism alludes to the policies of the despotic European monarchs of the 18 th and 19 th centuries that were influenced by the age of the Enlightenment. The Age of Enlightenment, also known as the century of lights, was experimented in Europe during 18 thcentury with the promotion of different ideas centered on reason. Some ideas included freedom, progress, constitutional government, tolerance, fraternity and separation of the church from the state. The use of Enlightenment policies on political and religious tolerance became known as enlightened absolutism. Intellectuals have had to plan reforms that Enlightenment leaders have had to impose on the public. For supporters of enlightenment, enlightenment promotes rational inquiry, freedom of thought, scientific achievement, critical thinking, political freedom, religious tolerance and the pursuit of happiness.

Individuals who supported enlightened absolutism

Fredrick the Great, who ruled Prussia from 1740 to 1786, wrote an essay defending enlightened absolutism. Fredrick considered himself an enlightenment leader and embraced French ideas. The French philosopher Voltaire was also in favor of enlightened absolutism on democracy. Other people who supported enlightened absolutism include Catherine the Great of Russia, Joseph II of Austria, Leopold II of Tuscany, Denis Diderot, Adam Smith and Cesare Beccaria.

In France, enlightenment was perceived as anti-government and the French government was opposed to what led to the French revolution of 1789. Britain ignored leaders who supported enlightenment, although Isaac Newton was recognized as a crusader absolutist enlightenment. Britain ignored the ideals of Enlightenment because it was assumed that they were inspired by the French, they were anticlerical and opposed to the established order. The King of Spain, Charles III, worked to bring changes to his regime from 1759 to 1758.

The changes included weakening the church, promoting trade, promoting science and research, avoiding war and modernizing agriculture. Spain has returned to its previous ways after the king’s death. Enlightenment policies established by Joseph II in Austria failed due to lack of support. On the other hand Johann Friedrich Struensee of Denmark and Marquis of Pombal used the ideals of enlightenment and worked well. he worked to bring changes to his regime from 1759 to 1758. Changes included weakening the church, promoting trade, promoting science and research, avoiding war, and modernizing agriculture. Spain has returned to its previous ways after the king’s death. Enlightenment policies established by Joseph II in Austria failed due to lack of support.

 

Changes brought about by an enlightened absolutism

Enlightened absolutism has brought about various political changes in the territories in which it has been well received. Some of the reforms included changes that led to the abolition of aristocratic fiscal immunities, the systematization of the laws of the territory, the establishment of religious tolerance, the sponsorship of some institutions and cultural activities, the strengthening of peasants and the abolition of slavery, limiting police activities and peasants’ judgment by nobles, commercial promotion and confirmation and documentation of land ownership in the territories. Leopold II suspended the death penalty in Tuscany, Italy.

Philosophers who have influenced illumination

Some of the philosophers who influenced lighting include René Descartes, Francis Bacon, Baruch Spinoza and John Locke. Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin influenced British and French thinkers, and played a significant role in promoting lighting in the United States. Some of the ideals of the Enlightenment were absorbed in the drafting of the United States constitution. The German historian Wilhelm Roscher defined absolutism enlightened in 1847, but this definition was disputed by scholars. Supporters of enlightenment believe that it led to progression in the present world.

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