timeline of world history

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The Enlightenment


  • 1605: Francis Bacon (1561-1626) publishes Advancement of Learning.
  • 1637: Rene Descartes publishes his Discourse on Method, in which he lays the foundation for modern philosophy.
  • 1644-9: Pierre Gassendi (1592-1655), in a series of works, revives the traditions of Epicureanism and Skepticism.
  • 1690: John Locke (1632-1704) publishes his Essay Concerning Human Understanding , which lays the foundation for the empirical school of philosophy, and his Second Treatise on Government, which is the basis for liberalism.
  • 1682-1718: Karl XII, King of Sweden
  • 1740-1785: Frederick the Great of Prussia
  • 1748: Montesquieu (1689-1755) publishes his Spirit of the Laws.
  • 1751: The first volume of the Encyclopedie is published.
  • 1759: Voltaire (1694-1778) publishes Candide.
  • 1762: Rousseau (1712-1778) publishes both Emile and The Social Contract.
  • 1764: Cesare Beccaria publishes his Essays on Crimes and Punishments.
  • 1776: Adam Smith (1723-1790) publishes The Wealth of Nations.
  • 1782: Immanuel Kant: The Critique of Pure Reason
  • 1789: Antoine Lavoisier publishes his treatise on chemistry, laying the foundation for the modern theory of chemical elements.
  • 1795: Condorcet (1743-1794)publishes Progess of the Human Mind.


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