The Scientific Revolution

The Scientific RevolutionThe period of numerous important scientific discoveries and inventions, which took place during the 1600 – 1700 years, and a new view of natural world as the result of these discoveries, is called the Scientific Revolution. It is connected, first of all, with principal achievements and innovations in exact sciences, like astronomy, mathematics, physics, etc.

Conditionally, the Scientific Revolution started with revolutionary works of such physicists, as Johannes Kepler and Galileo, who tried to develop the ideas of Nicolaus Copernicus and found out the laws of planetary motion and the laws of falling bodies. Galileo played significant role in the revolution: he constructed the first telescope, which allowed him to make observations and important discoveries; he invented the first thermometer on alcohol, the first compass, and made important findings in physics, in particular, regarding to acceleration of the bodies.

Revolutionary inventions in biology and medicine triggered numerous significant discoveries. Invention of microscope by Zacharias Janssen allowed Anthony van Leuwenhoek to observe cells of human blood and tissues. Andreas Vesalius and William Harvey discovered the system of blood circulation and skeleton in human body. Gabriel Fahrenheit constructed the first mercury thermometer, and Evangelista Torricelli invented the barometer.

Finally, this era of inventions brought some changes to mathematics, which are connected with the name of another key personality of the Scientific Revolution, Sir Isaac Newton. He created principally new mathematics, which became the main instrument of science and is known as calculus. Also, Newton made important findings in physics, like discovery of gravity, laws of gravity and laws of motion.

Therefore, as a result of the Scientific Revolution, by the end of the seventeenth century the view of humanity on natural world has drastically changed. Science stopped being based on assumptions and beliefs, and all the new scientific discoveries and findings were made by the methods of observation, experiment and analysis. Another important contribution of the revolution into the history of humanity was dethronement of delusive ideas of the Catholic Church about the origin and nature of the world, like God’s placing the earth to the center of the universe, etc.


The French Revolution

French RevolutionThe Great French Revolution took place in 1789-1799. It was inspired by American Revolution and had a number of reasons: social, economic, political, etc. First of all, the lowest social estate of France, the peasants, started expressing discontent with their life and absence of rights. Economic situation in the country was fierce for them, because they were pressed with huge burden of taxation, low wages and expensive food. Moreover, leadership of the King Louis XVII and his Court proved to be weak and unable to deal with these problems.

Therefore, in 1789 the leaders of the commoners took the oath to fight for liberty and equality, and organized their forces to storm the Bastille on July, 14. Louis XVII and his ruling aristocrats were captured. Revolutionary forces made the Court surrender their demands, thus, in 1791 a new Constitution was proclaimed, which established limited monarchy and separation of powers in the country. But the King was still very frightened of new rules and tried to escape the country, that’s why in 1792 he was put to trial and soon executed.

With the death of Louis XVII, the third estate received the power, and their leader, Maximilien Robespierre, started ruling France. His desire to establish control over the country turned into a “reign of terror”. Every person, who could be a threat to a new regime and a new government, had to be immediately put to death on guillotine. In 1794 French people revolted against this terror, so Robespierre and his associates were executed. Thus, a new regime of so called Directory came into power. Directory followed the policy of Robespierre, but was not that fierce. Finally, in 1798 a young general, leader or ruling power Napoleon Bonaparte gained the control over France. He directed all the activity of French activists on outer military operations.

The French Revolution was inevitable and crucial historical event. Establishment of republicanism instead of existing absolute monarchy was its main effect. A new constitution was proclaimed, protecting the rights of poor people, and a new social system was founded in France. Besides, the French Revolution gave sparks to revolutionary thoughts and ideas in other European countries, like Germany, Russia, Italy, Ireland, and indirectly caused continental wars between European nations in XIX – XX centuries.


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