What Did The Enlightenment Thinkers Hope Would Happen To Societies?


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Richard Marsden answered
The philosophes, in general, hoped that a society would have freedom of speech, movement, marriage and assembly. Therefore, they wanted rid of the privileges of the nobility such as the abolition of exemption from joining the army and an end to serfdom. The Enlightenment also brought about the idea of a free press, and therefore, an end to censorship.

In terms of the economy, a group of French intellectuals known as the physiocrats contributed to the Enlightenment. They believed in minimum government intervention in economics (laissez-faire) and allowing nature to rule. They wanted to simplify the tax system, abolish serfdom, and free al trade and industry from the control of the government. The latter suggestion was the only policy to be put into practice. The common theme of the Enlightenment was that man's happiness was the main consideration of philosophy. It looked to an Enlightened Despot ruler to reform the state, rule by good laws and bring people light and happiness.

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