Which of the issues discussed and evaluated so far, do you consider the most significant issue and why?

The midterm paper should meet the following guidelines: 3 pages, double spaced, 12pt font and must answer the following question:Which of the issues discussed and evaluated so far, do you consider the most significant issue and why?All good papers should include an introductory paragraph in which you state which issue you feel is most significant and perhaps a few reasons why, body paragraphs in which you elaborate on each of those reasons in more detail and a conclusion paragraph in which you restate your strongest point. Papers will be graded on the quality of the writing, the organization and the strength of your critical thinking argument.
WILL BE ON TURN IT IN.COM. NO PLAGIARISM.TOPIC :The Scientific Revolution, Enlightenment and 1st Great Awakening
Last week we covered the early colonial period. This week your book covers well the further development of the colonies. Toward the end of the chapter the Enlightenment and Great Awakening are covered as “unifying experiences.” I agree with that analysis, however, I feel it will make greater sense, if you have more background information which I will provide for you here.
Background: Scientific RevolutionPrior to the scientific revolution and actively looking for rational answers to questions, Europeans would seek divine answers to questions they couldn’t answer themselves. For example, if one’s house was struck by lightening, the answer as to why that happened would be that God was exacting punishment on the household. In any case, when Europeans couldn’t explain something, they laid blame or gave credit to God.
GreeceThe ancient Greeks provided the only examples and information on science to Europe in the 16th century. Most of what the Greeks had argued had fallen in line with the later Christian church. For example, Ptolemy had argued that the sun and moon revolved around the earth. That put humans at the center of everything and in line with the Biblical interpretations of the day, that man was at the center of God’s creation.
Beginnings of the Scientific RevolutionIt starts with Copernicus in1543. He was a Polish astronomer. He had a different model for explaining the universe. Ptolemy argued the universe revolved around the sun. Copernicus, through observation, had noted that planets sometimes slowed down. Other scientists explained that these were adjustments. Copernicus argued that the earth is just one of several objects that revolves around the sun. He took man out of the center. Then there was Galileo of Italy from 1564-1642 Galileo and another mathematician named Kepler end Ptolemy’s theory. Kepler noted orbits were elliptical and not circular as had been believed. Galileo took the telescope and looked up. He noted blemishes and imperfections in the universe, sun spots and mountains on the moon. He also noticed other moons around Jupiter. His other area was in mechanics or motion. How objects reacted to gravitational pull. He found that the rate at which an object falls is determined by the height from which its dropped as opposed to its weight. They were noting ways in which the universe was not perfect as the church and others believed. Newton, 1642-1727, is the next scientist. The new approach to science culminates in him. He synthesized astronomy and mechanics. He argued that a law of universal gravitation regulates the motion of bodies throughout the universe. He offered precise mathematical explanations of the laws that govern the motion of bodies on the earth. His work symbolizes the scientific revolution in that he relied on observation and mathematical reasoning. This is a new way of thinking that challenges traditional authorities, i.e. the church. They were looking for universal laws of nature that they could figure out. If they can figure it out, they won’t need divine explanations.
WomenSome women were drawn to the Scientific Revolution. There were female scientists, although historians have not tended to discuss them much. They formulated theories about the natural world, performed their own experiments, and published their findings. Many, most, had little formal training which gave them the freedom to read and study what they chose. Some worked with male scientists. Some included the Countess of Chinchon who brought back tree bark from Latin American because it had cured malaria. Anna of Saxony, 1532-1582, looked at the medical uses for plants. Maria Merian, 1647-1717, was an artist of insects and plants and later obtained recognition as a naturalist. In 1699, at age 52, set off on an expedition to South America looking at insects and document and drew new plants and insects. Margaret Cavendish, 1617-1673, produced 14 books ranging from natural history to atomic physics. She was the Duchess of Newcastle. Frenchwoman Marie de Coste Blanche published on astronomy and math. Emilie du Chatlet, 1706-1749. She was a noblewoman from France who was a genius at math and physics. She had a 10-20 year affair with Voltaire, 1730s-late 1740s. She wrote with Voltaire in his treatise on Newton. She wrote on others as well on her own. In 1733 she was barred from the Café Gradot in Paris, a hang out for intellectuals, because she was a woman. That was part of the nature of the Enlightenment that stemmed from the Scientific Revolution, intellectuals would gather in public and discuss matters before upper class individuals. Its ironic, that despite all their efforts to challenge traditional authority, they keep the patriarchy in place, the Scientific Revolution affirms tradition as it relates to gender roles. As they explore science and anatomy, the look at the reproductive systems. They argue that women provide only a passive egg, it’s the male sperm that creates an individual, downplaying the role of women in reproduction. They completely overlook that whole nine month period and labor. They publish that when a child is born you cut the umbilical cord according to gender.
Church’s ResponseIn 1600 Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake for suggestion life on other planets stemming from Copernicus’ theory. In 1632 Galileo recanted his “Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems”. There was a backlash from the church because they did lose some authority. The Western world began to adopt secular values. Also, by explaining events in the natural world has having a system of universal laws that we can figure out, takes the hand of God out of life.
EnlightenmentAfter applying these ideas to science, Europeans began applying them to politics and society. Voltaire, Francois Marie Arouet, came to personify the Enlightenment during his life 1694-1778.He was a philosopher, wit, playwright, and cultural critic, he dedicated himself to confronting power and prejudice with skepticism and reason. He was imprisoned in the Bastille and exiled from France to England and Prussia. He returned to France later and his house near Switzerland attracted so many visiting intellectuals from all over Europe that it became a kind of cultural capital on the continent. In terms of religion, he argued that there was a creator, but that the creator was not involved in human affairs anymore. He said it was like a clockmaker. The clock on the wall only proves there was a clockmaker. That clockmaker (creator) created that clock and set it motion so it runs on it’s own but then left. John Locke, 1632-1704 was an English philosopher, he was known for his theory of contractual government, the Social Compact. In 1690 he publishes “Second Treatise on Government”. He argued that people gave government political rights, but kept personal rights of life, liberty, and property. Any ruler who violated these rights could be displaced. Consent rested with the governed and they could replace rulers.Locke relocated sovereignty from divine rulers to the people in society. He argued that it was a natural law since there were few rulers but many subjects. Therefore the many must grant consent to the few to govern them.
Significance to US historyJohn Locke and other Enlightenment thinkers directly influence key colonial leaders and their ideas become the basis for our system of government and essentially our entire national identity later. The most significant of the American colonial Enlightenment thinkers were Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. Franklin experimented with lots of ideas trying to determine natural laws, such as what lightening will strike. Is it a manifestation of God’s will or is it the result of a house or building simply being the tallest object in a field that lightening can strike. Franklin traveled around Europe with others discussing philosophy and his experiments. Just as scientists traveled around discussing their ideas, so did philosophers. Most, again, were upper class and stayed in Europe. Only the upper class would have the time and money to do this.
The 1st Great AwakeningBack in the colonies, everyday people, especially the lower social classes, were caught up in their own experience. That experience, religious in nature, was called the 1st Great Awakening. The 1st Great Awakening was a set of religious revivals that really began in the 1730s. Large numbers of colonists would gather to hear one of the key interent or traveling preachers like Jonathan Edwards, sort of, he more or less stayed in New England, or George Whitefield.
Jonathan EdwardsJonathan Edwards came from a long line of ministers. Jonathan Edwards was the minister of the Congregational Church in Northampton, MA. He preached this sermon in 1741, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. He had begun something of a revival in the 1730s, but this sermon really got people talking, in Enfield. In fact after giving this sermon, people did not leave the church for several days. He told them all that God hated them and was angry. The only way to change God’s mind about them was to repent, really hard. The next sermon was packed. The next, there were no seats. Finally they had to move outside. He used scare tactics, but ultimately changed the religious theology. Think about it, you can change God’s mind. This alters the concept of predestination. It grants citizens a degree of agency.
William and Gilbert TennentEdwards and others are part of a larger movement that reaches out to appeal to the heart, not the mind. A guy named Stoddard had engaged in an emotional style of preaching. In Pennsylvania in the 1730s, a Dutch preacher started moving from church to church, preaching rousing, emotional sermons. In the 1740s William Tennent, and later his son William copied that approach. They led revivals among the Scots-Irish in the same area of Pennsylvania.They encouraged lay members to preach a message of spiritual urgency to growing congregations. Gilbert also argued that the minister’s authority came not from theological training but through the conversion experience.
George WhitefieldWhitefield’s story starts in England. He had been trained in the Anglican church and was known for his emotional preaching style. He said that some churches are spiritually dead.He’s not real popular with the Anglican authority and he had spent some time with the Wesley brothers. In 1739-1740 he was sent to the colonies. He gets kicked out of his church pretty fast and he goes on a speaking tour. He tells people that they need to have an emotional experience.He also says that those who have such an experience are perhaps better qualified to preach than others. He criticized preachers for focusing on head knowledge and good works instead of the emotional side of religion. He held open-air services that were very different than what settlers were accustomed to. There were mass conversions. He wept along with his followers.One historian has said that it was his style that transformed local revivals into a Great Awakening. The awakening really culminates in Whitefield.
New denominationsYou have new lights and old lights.Its almost a similar situation to the seperatists in England. Over 125 new churches sprang up in the wake of the Awakening. You have Presbyterians, and Baptists, and Methodists. The Baptists spark a great deal of controversy in the south as they preach to slaves. The idea of lay exhorting became popular. It basically says that the average citizen may be more qualified than a university trained preacher. This undermines the religious authority and also the social hierarchy.
ConclusionIn both cases, with the Enlightenment and the Great Awakening, they teach large numbers of people that it is ok to question traditional sources of authority. They make it acceptable and lay the foundation for the later thinkers during the American Revolution. They result in shared experiences as well, especially in the colonies with the Great Awakening. While it was mostly a grassroots movement among the lower classes, it still involved many people at one time. It could easily be argued that the ideas of the Enlightenment provided the basis for the rationale to rebel and the Great Awakening facilitated the rebellion. I really do not think either could have occurred without the ground breaking Scientific Revolution.