The Enlightenment


1517 The Reformation begins, challenging the authority of the Catholic Church.

1610 Galileo Galilei publishes Sidereus Nuncius (Starry Messenger), containing his observations of the heavens.

1687 In Principia, Newton outlines a concept of the universe based on natural, rationally understandable laws.


1767 American thinker and diplomat Benjamin Franklin visits Paris, and transmits Enlightenment ideas to the US.

1791 English writer Mary Wollstonecraft adds feminism to Enlightenment ideas in the pioneering A Vindication of the Rights of Women.

In the mid 18th century, the French philosopher Denis Diderot invited ...

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