The Age of Enlightenment, also known as the Enlightenment for short or the Age of Reason, was an intellectual movement in Europe that spanned throughout the 18th century. It promoted many revolutionary ideas at the time that commonly espoused rationality as the primary source of authority, dramatically shifting European culture towards the ideals of natural rights, liberty, constitutional government, and scientific advancement. In this light, it echoed the Renaissance, the cultural movement that preceded it centuries earlier. The movement's widespread popularity in Europe served as a major catalyst for calls for democracy, culminating in waves of republican revolutions that overturned the feudal, monarchic regimes of the past.
The Renaissance was the period that lasted from the 15th to the 17th century, in this movement stood out ideas such as humanism, individualism, and the recovery of values of Classical Antiquity. In the following century, the movement had continued.
In the 17th century, the Templars in Europe wanted to forget the Dark Age of the Order when Rodrigo Borgia was Grand Master. During his leadership, the Templars only searched power for their own benefits. The Templars rethought their role as advisors of the rulers and no more as rulers themselves. To achieve this, they used and influenced the works of intellectuals such as Isaac Newton, Baruch Spinoza and Francis Bacon to make philosophy, sciences and rationalism flourish in society to advance their goals. This period saw the scientific revolution, the beginning of empiricism and liberalism.
- Main article: English Civil War
In 1642, the English Civil War occured between the king of England, Scotland and Ireland Charles I and the English Parliament, with its army led by Oliver Cromwell. In 1648, Charles I was defeated and executed by the parliamentarians, and thus established the Commonwealth with Cromwell as its Lord Protector. Charles II, son of Charles I, continued to fight but was forced to exile himself in Europe. There, he received letters from an organization which helped him to recover the throne with the support of the General George Monck. In 1660, after the death of Cromwell, Charles returned to England and was crowned in Westminster Abbey. The monarchy was restored in British islands.
- Main article: Golden Age of Piracy
At the beginning of the century, after the War of the Spanish Succession, the position of privateer was banned, besides the piracy, it has generated revolt by former privateers who began practicing criminal acts. At that same time the Republic of Pirates came to Nassau, which did not last long.
Pirates as Edward Thatch, also known as Blackbeard, Benjamin Hornigold, Charles Vane, Jack Rackham or Calico Jack, Anne Bonny and Mary Read had their notorities at this time, they were all associated with Edward Kenway, who later became an Assassin.
- Main article: American Revolution
In the second half of the century, after the Seven Years' War, many taxes were charged abusively to the people of the northern colonies. A faction known as the Sons of Liberty began to prostrate against these measures, so a wave of prostration began, one of them including the Boston Tea Party. Philosopher as Benjamin Franklin though that the colonies must have more autonomy from the Great Britain with their own government.
The British Empire ignored the claims, soon as the American Revolutionary War began, between the colonies and its metropolis. On July 6, 1776, the colonies finally realized its independance, and so the new nation, the United States of America, was born. The war for independance continued until 1783, with the result of the Siege of Yorktown.
- Main article: French Revolution
As the absolute power of the monarch developed under the kings Louis XIV and Louis XV of France, intellectuals and philosophers though about the separation of powers. Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Denis Diderot were the main philosophers of the country, fighting the arbitrary power, developing the idea of equality and publishing the Encyclopédie to spread knowledge.
During the years 1780's, France came into crisis due to its actions during the American Revolution. The population was starving and the Third State was the only one to pay to refund the debt. To fix the economy, Louis XVI programmed the Estates-General of 1789. The Templar François-Thomas Germain organized the Revolution while he made a coup in the Parisian Rite of the Templar Order, killing the Grand Master François de la Serre.
During the meeting, the Third State was ignored, and the measures passed to prevail the First and Second States. After the meeting, the Third State was organized as a National Assembly, and soon revolts were promoted to the Paris and Versailles corridors. On July 14, 1789, there was the Storming of the Bastille, and that was the beginning of a bloody confrontation.
After the king was executed on January 21, 1793, two large factions gained notoriety and power across the country, the Girondists, a right-leaning party, who defended the interests of the bourgeoisie, and the Jacobins, a left-leaning party, led by Maximilien de Robespierre, were extreme extremists and persecuted anyone who was considered "an enemy of the revolution". The Robespierre's party promoted the Reign of Terror, where much of the french population was executed, but this lasted until the Thermidorian Reaction, the moment since Robespierre was captured, and ironically killed in the guillotine.
After Robespierre's death, the French Revolutionary Wars continued to last against neighboring countries, in the meantime, a military named Napoleon Bonaparte, brought victories to the French Army in foes battles. Napoleon succeeded in embracing the people, in 1799, with the coup of the 18 Brumaire, he finally reached the french throne, later became emperor, and the French Empire was founded.
Rest of the World
In Haiti, the local population, with the majority of African descent, rebelled against french crown, and the Haitian Revolution began, the leader was Toussaint Louverture, who defeated France and came to power in the country.