- from Enlightenment
Freedom, progress, happiness, and human rights are values that we honor today, but they were not always considered important.
They sprang from the Enlightenment. In the 1600s and 1700s, with scientists leading the way, thinkers in other fields began to consider new ways of looking at the world. In England, two philosophers put forth radically different ideas about the nature of human beings. A group of French philosophers promoted the belief that people could apply reason to all aspects of life. An Italian thinker pushed for reforms of criminal justice. These thinkers brought big changes to the way governments operated and the way people lived in the Western world.