Seminar paper from the year 2012 in the subject Politics - International Politics - Region: USA, grade: 1,0, language: English, abstract: For centuries, the term 'Enlightenment' has been used by historiographers and historians to refer to a period in history which was marked by great change in the way people thought about the essence of life. It was coined by people who believed that they had finally found answers to life's problems - not in religion but in science. Many revolutions were born out of this age of reason, including the French Revolution which today is generally used to mark the end of the Enlightenment era. Its ideals of libert , egalit and fraternit were carried through out Europe and even into the Americas. Yet, whether these goals were achieved, especially in connection with gender and race, shall be further discussed in this essay. At the outset of this paper will be a brief introduction to the Enlightenment and its most important philosophes. In the following two chapters, this paper will take a closer look at the relationship between the Enlightenment and ideas of race and gender. How did Enlightenment thinkers address and handle these topics? What was the legacy of Enlightenment concerning women and in particular black emancipation? How does anti-Semitism relate to the subject, and how could racism avail in societies that claimed to stand for equality of rights? Acknowledging that the United States of America is a nation which was founded and thoroughly shaped by Enlightenment thinkers, this paper will focus just as much on the developments in the nation states of Europe as it will on the United States of America.
The Enlightenment and Race and Gender
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