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Ap Euro Dbq Essay

851 words - 3 pages

Michael Burger 11/3/14 Period 1
Scientific Revolution DBQ
During the the 16th and 17th century, scientists and astronomers in Western
Europe developed controversial and revolutionary ideas about the Earth. The Scientific
Revolution was an exciting era, filled with people ahead of their time making radical
conjectures about the very core of our existence. However, while challenging common
belief and re evaluating society's knowledge of the Universe, these scientist's studies
did not go unchallenged. Nobles and high ranking members of society rejected their
transcendent theories, while others supported the movement. Our current
understanding of the world endured many deeply human trials and tribulations, with
social, religious, and political factors shaping the modern pursuit of science.
Science's journey to becoming influential in our current lives began with the
revolution initially being questioned and rejected by society. People were afraid of what
these new and alien beliefs would do to their view of their world. Francis Bacon, an
English philosopher, believed that science should be used solely to provide humanity
with "new discoveries and powers"(Doc 4). He was lobbying against the Nobility's
interference with learning, criticizing their prioritization of social gain over the
enlightenment of the human race. This social struggle is evident in a letter from Marin

Mersenne, a French Monk and philosopher, to his noble patron. He tactfully pleads to
his benefactor to publish his book without revision, carefully insisting that his beliefs are
indeed true. The patron is the only way that his scientific work will see the world, and
Mersenne desperately needs him in order for his ideas to have impact. He writes from
a stance of being at his patron's mercy, aware that his fragile ideas hang in the balance
of the publisher's whim. Henry Oldenbury, Secretary of the English Royal Society,
wanted philosophers and scientists to be allowed the freedom to study on their own
terms, without the constraints of social concerns. He wanted his peers to be study in a
friendly environment that could exist above "partisan zeal"(Doc 6). Margaret Cavendish
argued that the social hierarchy affected science in many forms. She wrote, because
she was a woman, that she was hindered in her pursuit of knowledge. These social
issues reflected how political hierarchies dictated scientific development.
Thomas Hobbes' book Leviathan discusses the difference between theoretical
science and natural science that bear meaning upon the world we live in. He implies
that recent astronomical developments are dangerous because of the threat they pose
towards political powers and their control of the people. Galileo stated that the sun was
located in the center of the universe, with earth and neighboring planets orbiting around
it. These ideas irritated Louis XIV, who in Document 10 is portrayed standing in the
center of...

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