Essay Example Dedicated to the Age of Enlightenment: Reason and the Reformation of Society

Published: 2022-09-14
Essay Example Dedicated to the Age of Enlightenment: Reason and the Reformation of Society
Type of paper:  Term paper
Categories:  Political science Philosophy Society
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 658 words
6 min read

Reason is the ability of humans to make rational decisions from logical thinking and great consideration of the outcomes of the decisions made. The age of enlightenment was approximately between 1715 and 1789. In this era, the people made their choices based reason as the primary moral compass. The age was marked by several changes that occurred such as the change in the means that people used to make their decisions. Before this period, the people made decisions depending on their religious beliefs and what they believed that God approved as right no matter how awkward it was. This mentality changed during the enlightenment era, and the people now began to question the outcome and the effects that a decision would have in the society (Riskin and Jessica). This paper focuses on the problem of poverty that faced the people who lived in this span of time and evaluates the possible solutions to it.

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The enlightenment age made all the possible efforts t try and understand the society and offer the solutions to the problems it had. One of the major issues was poverty, and many of the people roamed around begging for food, clothing and other essential commodities that they needed. The people did not have well-paying jobs as it was only the beginning of the industrialization. The situation was further worsened by the war that lasted between 1756 and 1763. The French government was in debt and the ruler Louis XVI was even forced to allow the radical reforms of Turgot and Malesherbes (Baker 285). There were also cases of severe climate changes which acted to reduce the agricultural output significantly.

The solution to poverty in such an age would have been to educate the current population about the means to cope with their situations. It would have been better if the people started being taught on means of development from a young age (Gill 106). Educating the people from a young age would not only increase their productive life since they would have more time to practice what they had been taught but would also make it easy for them to understand the concepts that are involved in the eradication of poverty in the country. Most of the topics that should have been taught were business ideas and means to build up local industries that would employ the people. Such enhancements in the education sector opened up the minds of the people that they can depend on themselves rather than moving around borrowing basic needs.

In the enlightenment era, education was considered a privilege for the rich which only served to increase the gap between the rich and the poor. The rich got many ideas from learning which resulted in them becoming more prosperous, and the poor remained to wallow in poverty. Education should be used as a means of development and should be accessible to all especially the poor who needed elevation in their social status. In the age of French enlightenment, the poor would have a better chance in building their social status by learning the new concepts and even using some of the old ideas that involved the development and the elimination of poverty. Education would also enable them to know how to operate machinery and even come up with inventions that would lead to them being richer unlike in their current ignorance where they only begged for their needs.

Poverty demeans the life that a human being has and makes them appear as lesser human beings. The best means to eliminate poverty is by education since it opens up the mind to new and important concepts that are valuable in curbing poverty.

Works Cited

Baker, Keith Michael. "French political thought at the accession of Louis XVI." The Journal of Modern History 50.2 (1978): 279-303.

Gill, Natasha. Educational philosophy in the French enlightenment: From nature to second nature. Routledge, 2016.

Riskin, Jessica. Science in the age of sensibility: The sentimental empiricists of the French enlightenment. University of Chicago Press, 2002.

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