History 114 MidtermQuestion #3
A Revolution of Science
Europe’s Scientific Revolution was a vast intellectual and cultural transformation between the mid-sixteenth and early eighteenth centuries. The new scientific ways of thinking challenged ancient social hierarchies and political systems. It also played a role in the revolutionary upheavals of the modern era. The surge of new knowledge shook up older ways of thinking and opened the door to new conceptions of the world.
There were many factors that allowed for Europe to experience this commitment to scientific and rational thought. The Protestant Reformation contributed by challenging authority, increasing literacy, and helping Europe become more secular. In the 16th century Europeans were at the center of a massive exchange of new information as they became more globally connected through the Columbian Exchange. Faster access of information with the printing press allowed institutions to draw on knowledge gained from the Islamic and Greek natural philosophies.
When a breakthrough in science is made, later generations could build on that knowledge and develop an understanding of nature even further. Copernicus, Kepler, Descartes, and Galileo made discoveries that could later be used by one of the smartest men to ever live. The greatest scientific accomplishment came from Sir Isaac Newton, the Englishmen who formulated the modern laws of motion and mechanics.
Science and rational thought was a key factor in the emergence of Europe as a political, economic, military force in the world. It would have a dramatic impact on technology that got us to age of technology we live in today. Governments were able to use new developments to advance weapons technology, such as more accurate cannons. The new approach to knowledge of reason and skepticism was also applied to human affairs by Adam Smith. He formulated laws that