The Age of Enlightenment and the Age of Revolutions

The years between 1600 and 1850 saw tremendous change in Europe and Asia.   The Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment in Europe introduced new ideas of how our universe worked and the ideas of liberty and equality that caused revolutions in England, the American Colonies, France, and Latin America. These revolutions gave rise to new leaders and new forms of government that still exist today. They also created political and economic instability in Latin America, which also persist in our present time. In the 1600’s, China and Japan had isolated themselves. This isolation would come to an abrupt end in both countries by the middle of the 19th century, as European powers would use superior technology to force the opening of China and Japan. How China and Japan reacted to the arrival of Europeans changed the course of their history through the 20th century.

  • How did the scientific advancements of the 17th and 18th centuries contribute to changing the European worldview?
  • What were the major ideas and philosophies of the Enlightenment philosophers John Locke, Voltaire, and Rousseau?
  • How did the absolute rulers Louis XIV, Peter the Great, and Tokugawa Ieyasu affect their respective societies?
  • What were the causes and effects of the revolutions in England (1689), the United States (1776), France(1789), Haiti (1791), and Latin America (1809-1825)?
  • What were the circumstances surrounding Napoleon’s rise and fall? How were his policies good for Europe? Bad?
  • How did Commodore Perry’s visit effect the Japanese? What were the effects of the Taiping Rebellion and the Opium War?


Edited from GVL World History