According to Jonathan Israel, Enlightenment began in the Netherlands in the 17th century.Spinoza gave the move.
Dutch society was very urbanized, had a revolution behind which it became a republic and had to contend with religious struggles.First Catholic against Protestant and later also orthodox against the Liberal. In addition, the population was very literate. More than half could read and write.
The new early capitalistic and urban society threw up new questions that asked for new answers.These answers are the basis of the (radical) enlightenment.
The Enlightenment is essentially the radicalisation of reason, namely that everyone can make use of his reason and not just some dignitaries.This emancipation of the use of the speech has a long history. In the Enlightenment, that was brought up by Immanuel side under the motto sapere Aude : Have the guts to make use of your own intellect!
The roots of the Enlightenment lie in England of circa 1640.There, a frenzied civil war between Catholics and Protestants raged to a lot of civilians.
The Catholic faith was amalgamated with the King’s worldly authority at that time.(That was the Roman legacy of Emperor Constantine who developed Catholicism as the only state religion with the Emperor as God’s emissary.) The king thus received from God his power to reign over the people with the unwritten appointment to be reasonable to his nationals. The jester attached to the Western Royals had the role of pointing the king out of mockingly when it went unreasonably.That was a risk to the jester at that time, but he was allowed to do so.
The Catholic faith, however, perverted in a cult of ‘ defortification ‘ and cultivates fear of hell.(As if Satan had subtly invaded the ecclesiastical clergy to do his devastating work.) The Christian Spiritual dimension suffi ed therein. This was rightly questioned by the Christians. This degeneration led to ‘ protest ‘ (= The Protestants were born). A worldly Catholic king can only tolerate one belief. Catholicism. The emergence of Protestantism as a new spiritual movement was a threat to the king of his political power; He therefore fought this cult.
The massacres in England put the people to thinking… Maybe there is no ‘ divine power ‘ for which God allows all these massacres?Was posed by a number of thinkers such as Hobbes. In short, in England, thinkers and Philosophists emerged that in the years following this frenzied civil war, their views spread throughout Europe. These views of reasonableness were taken over by their French counterparts with the French Revolution as a result.
The ‘ reason ‘ also caused developments in other areas.Because people began to think more, they made huge jumps forward on the technological, scientific and also human level. The development of the steam engine is a consequence of this, as well as the view that slavery must be abolished and that men and women are equal. It led also to a new state system of separated powers.
Of course, a little time has been agreed.In The West, we do not realise what progress we have made; We should be proud of it. However, whether the lighting values have been definitively acquired remains a question mark.
I have read that in the 17th century there were religious wars with many casualties and without a winner and that Europe then sought a different hold than the so disputed religious dogmas and more on empirical knowledge.