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HIST 104

Dr. Tomasz Stanek

9 November 2023

Week 3 Discussion

I believe that the period of Enlightenment was indeed an important catalyst in European intellectual history between the Middle Ages and the present. To justify my belief, I’ll explain the connection with the scientific revolution in pre-modern Europe by considering key insights provided throughout our readings.

In “Southern Barbarians”, Boxer sheds light on the economic and cultural exchanges between Europe and Asia during the Age of Exploration. Cultural exchange is when people of two or more different backgrounds trade ideas, feelings, stories, and customs. While the main point of the reading might not be directly about the period of Enlightenment, it can be argued that the different interactions and exposure to diverse cultures during this period contributed to the Enlightenment’s emphasis on reason, liberality, and the exchange of ideas.

In “Copernicus, the Man, the Work, and Its History” Hartner focuses on the scientific revolution and the contributions of Copernicus to astronomy. Copernicus’s heliocentric model challenged traditional views. This was a major factor in contributing to the foundation of the scientific mindset of the Enlightenment period. There was a direct shift from geocentrism to heliocentrism that reflected a departure from old ways of thinking and made way for new perspectives. These new perspectives are in direct alignment with the Enlightenment principles of reason and liberality as well.

In “The Sea Common to All” by Craig A. Lockard, he explores maritime history and the interactions between different societies. The connection between this reading and the Enlightenment is not too clear to me in this reading, but the text does discuss the Age of Exploration. This alone partly contributes to the broader view of the world as a whole and the questioning of traditional and outdated beliefs. I believe this new way of thinking contributes to the Enlightenment because of the idea of challenging established norms.

Works Cited

Boxer, C. R. “Southern Barbarians and Red-Hairs in Feudal Japan.” History Today, History Today, Oct. 1981, www.historytoday.com/archive/southern-barbarians-and-red-hairs-feudal-japan.

Hartner, Willy. “Copernicus, the Man, the Work, and Its History.” Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, vol. 117, no. 6, 1973, pp. 413–22. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/986460. Accessed 9 Nov. 2023.

Lockard, Craig A. “‘The Sea Common to All’: Maritime Frontiers, Port Cities, and Chinese Traders in the Southeast Asian Age of Commerce, ca. 1400-1750.” Journal of World History, vol. 21, no. 2, 2010, pp. 219–47. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/20752948. Accessed 9 Nov. 2023.

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