Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Elise on the Glorious Revolution

The Glorious Revolution (Elise Price)

After King James II had his first son, many people in England were afraid of having another Catholic ruler. This is was sparked the Glorious Revolution, also recognized as the Bloodless Revolution. Before the arrival of his son, King James II's next successor was his daughter Mary who was married to William of Orange. They were both protestant, so many people in England who were protestant were glad to anticipate a protestant ruler in the future. When King James II's son was born, he became the next in line to thrown, which worried many people. After this, a group of noble Englishmen later called the Immortal Seven invited William of Orange to build and army with their support and take the thrown. They sail to England with many men but do not engage. The army avoided confrontation and soon Protestant mobs stormed through England. This caused James II to flee, leaving England to Mary and William of Orange. After they were crowned, they passed the bill of rights, which ended the chance of absolute monarchy and banned catholics from the thrown. 

Monday, February 25, 2019

Dawson on Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Dawson Furnish)

The philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau was influential and controversial in his thoughts and covered many topics during the Enlightenment such as man’s condition, nature vs. society, politics, etc. Born in Geneva, Switzerland in the year 1712, Rousseau was soon an orphan since his mother died in childbirth and his father fled the country. He eventually made his way to France at the age of six-teen in pursuit for better life (Great Thinkers). In France, he would become employed by Francoise-Louise de Warens who would eventually become his mistress and converter to the Roman Catholic faith. During this time, she also had him educated which would start his pursuit in philosophy rather than just music (Great Thinkers). Rousseau eventually left for Paris where he would meet Denis Diderot who was also a philosopher and editor for the Encyclopedie which was a work that contained much information on arts, sciences, and philosophies in which Rousseau contributed articles that dealt with subjects about music. He later wrote his first essay that would gain him recognition, A Discourse on the Sciences and Arts, and won in a competition held by the Academy of Dijon for it. The essay expresses his thought that human’s progression in arts and sciences had corrupted their morals and values. This essay would lead to is second and larger work, The Discourse on the Origin of Inequality. This second and longer essay made his name an often mentioned one when talking about philosophical people. This work shows Rousseau trying to trace man’s evolution from their natural state and along with it the origin of inequality. He comes to the conclusion that people are naturally good beings; however, as they grow up within a society, they are influenced to do evil. Years later, he had written and published a successful novel by called Julie. This novel was based around a young girl who was in love with her tutor but had also had a suitor who would take care of her. Through this dilemma, Rousseau explores what would be the right or moral choice for the girl to make. He quickly follows this novel with another one called Emile. This work, translated into English, is called On Education. Rousseau writes on how a parent can help their child stay naturally good and not be corrupted by society. Through this lucrative novel, he covers topics such as how men and women should be educated differently and encourages mothers to breastfeed their children. Published in the same year, Rousseau had written On the Social Contract which critiqued monarchies and encouraged a “social understanding” conducted by all members of society. This work was full of democratic ideals and a huge stepping stone for the lead to the French Revolution. Even though both of these works were widely popular, they were also controversial. Emilie was banned in France while both of his works from that year were also banned in his home city of Geneva. Rousseau eventually moved to England to stay with David Hume, but this did not last long due to him thinking Hume had published an anonymous pamphlet that had insulted him. After this drama, he had moved back to France and died in 1778. Four years after his death, his autobiography was published titled, Confessions. This autobiography stood out to readers since he wrote about his flaws and personal affairs and gave an open and accurate story of his life.

Works cited
Bertram, Christopher. “Jean Jacques Rousseau”. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Stanford
            University, 26 May 2017,
Delaney, James. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy,

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Kate on Henry Fielding

Henry Fielding (Kate Niswander)

Henry Fielding was born in April 22, 1707 in Sharpham Park, near Glastonbury, Somerset, to Colonel Edmund Fielding and his wife Sarah Gould, the daughter of Judge Henry Gould. He was a playwright and novelist during the English Restoration and was also one of the founders of London’s first police force, The Bow Street Runners. He went to Eton College where he specialized in classical literature and languages. He, along with Samuel Richardson, has been said to be one of the founders of the English novel. He was known for his satire and humor as well as the ability to establish a wide variety of characters among different social classes. His first success was Shamela in 1741 which was a parody of Richardson’s Pamela. His other most successful novels were Joseph Andrews in 1742 and Tom Jones in 1749. He wrote and published until he died ion October 8, 1754.

Picture: By James Basire after a drawing by William Hogarth, 1762, National Portrait Gallery, London


Monday, February 18, 2019

Ella on Clarendon

Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon

Edward Hyde, 1st earl of Clarendon was born on February 18, 1609 in Wiltshire, England to Henry Hyde.  He was taught at Magdalen Hall, Oxford and trained in law at London’s Middle Temple.  He was married twice; his first wife, Anne Ayliffe died within six months of their marriage.  Two years later he married Frances, who was the daughter of Sir Thomas Aylesbury, who held a high legal office.  Through the connection of his father-in-law, he was able to pursue a career at the bar.  He was well-established in the literary and philosophical circles.

In 1640 he entered politics as a member of the Short Parliament (April-May 1640) and then in the Long Parliament, which opposed Charles I during the Civil War.  During his time in parliament, Hyde criticized new policies of the crown that he, as well as others, believed were a misuse of royal power, while at the same time opposing efforts to limit the king’s power in choosing ministers.  He was balanced in his understanding of royal power.

In 1641, Hyde became an advisor to Charles I and used his position to take the edge off of some of the king’s more imprudent policies.  While he was one of the king’s closest advisors, during his tenure in the government several policies and plans he had recommended failed, damaging his reputation and standing.

Following Charles I’s execution after the Royalist defeat in the Second Civil War, Hyde accompanied Charles II to his exile in France where he remained his most trusted advisor.  Hyde’s goal during this time was to keep Charles II from renouncing his Anglican faith and thus hurt chances for reconciling with his subjects.  When Oliver Cromwell died in 1658 negotiations began with those in England favorable to the crown.  Hyde, who was appointed Lord Chancellor during this time, played a crucial role in drafting the Declaration of Breda, a treaty that sought to restore the king and exemplified Hyde’s belief that this could only be accomplished by a free parliament working with the king in good faith.

In 1660, Hyde’s daughter married James, duke of York and so he became related to the royal family.  His daughter, Anne, became the mother of two queens: Mary II and Anne.  In 1661, he became the earl of Clarendon.  By the end of his time as Lord Chancellor, Hyde had become the scapegoat for unpopular decisions and the disastrous Anglo-Dutch War of 1665, even though he had opposed going to war against Denmark.  The House of Commons threatened Hyde with impeachment in 1667 and he fled to France, where he lived in exile for the rest of his life.  He authored The History of the Great Rebellion, a view of the English Civil War from the Royalist perspectivento which he incorporated autobiographical elements.  He died in 1674 in Rouen, France.


Morrill, John S. “Edward Hyde, 1st earl of Clarendon.” Encyclopaedia Britannica. Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., February 14, 2019.

Plant, David.  “Biography of Sir Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon,” BCW Project, Febryary 16, 2013. 

Portrait via The National Portrait Gallery, London online.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Alexa on Mris. Anne Killigrew

Mris. Anne Killigrew (Alexa Escamilla)

Anne Killigrew was born in London 1660 – 1685

·She was a British poet and painter who was born in London.

·She was the daughter of Judith and Henry Killigrew. (Both were royalist supporters of the Stuart kings and connected by marriage to an illegitimate branch of the royal family.)

·Her father was a clergyman with a position at Westminster Abbey which is a royal church that is located in the centre of London.

·At some point, when Killigrew had completed her childhood education, her father secured a position for her as maid of honor in the household of Mary of Modena , second wife of the duke of York (later King James II). There she joined a circle of women who were to become known for their intellects and accomplishments. Catharine Sedley , Sarah Jennings (Churchill) , and Anne Kingsmill (Finch) were all members of this circle and women who would become influential in court life in the years to follow.

·Exposed from an early age to life at court, she was also taken to the theater, and her uncles even wrote plays. She studied Greek mythology, philosophy, and the Bible. She showed her knowledge of this stuff through her poems.

·Killigrew was the subject of an ode by the poet John Dryden.

·The poem was called To The Pious Memory of the Accomplish’d Young Lady Mrs. Anne Killigrew.

·Dryden uses his ode to praise Anne Killigrew, references being made to her beauty, virtue, and talent. Dryden was one of Anne’s admirers and praised her natural talents as a write, comparing her to Sapho, a Greek writer commonly regarded as one of the greatest lyric poets in antiquity.

·She died of smallpox at the age of 25.

·Published after her death, her poetry shows her familiarity with court life and society. The poems were published by her father.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Kristen on Mary Astell

Mary Astell (Kristen Black)

Mary Astell (1666-1731) is considered one of the first English feminists because of her endorsement of equal education opportunities for women. In her early life, she was raised in a strict Anglican, middle class household. She was homeschooled until the age of thirteen by her uncle who encouraged her to be well-read in the teachings of Aristotle, Plato, and Pythagoras. After both her father and uncle’s death in 1679, her family’s funds were strained, which meant a lesser chance of marrying within her social class. This pushed her to pursue independent study of philosophy and, after the death of her mother in 1684, connect with an intellectual group in the Chelsea district of London. Over time, she gained a significant following from her outspoken nature and persuasive compositions. Although she did not limit herself to issues of women, much of her historical influence comes from the belief that women are perfectly capable of mastering clarity of thought (knowing what you are capable of, who you are, and what you are doing). She argued that proper education is necessary for all and found it reprehensible that women were married only to be displayed as dim, wealthy trophies. One of her most famous works, Some Reflections upon Marriage (released with several editions), explains marriage as a construct designed to trap women into a permanent state of inequality and “slavery.” A popular quote from the third edition of this text is as follows: “If all men are born free, how is it that women are born slaves? As they must be if the being subjected to the inconstant, uncertain, unknown, arbitrary Will of Men, be the perfect Condition of Slavery?” Middle-aged Astell heavily concerned herself with establishing a charity school for girls. She succeeded and an operational place of study at London’s Chelsea Hospital remained open until the late 1800s.

 Astell, Mary. “Some reflections upon marriage title page.”, Digital Image File 54160,,-occ

Monday, February 11, 2019

Emily on Nell Gwyn

Nell Gwyn (Emily Masterson)

Nell Gwyn was born in London(supposedly) on February 2nd, 1650 and died in London as well on November 14th, 1687. Different websites say that she was born in different areas. London, Oxford, and Hereford are all claim to be the city she was born in, so nobody really knows where she was born for sure. She was the daughter of Thomas and Ellen Gwyn. Her name is spelled differently on different websites. Some spell it Gwyn, some spell it Gwynne, and some spell it Gwynn. Her father was not there for her all the time. He was a soldier ruined by the Civil War who died in a prison in Oxford when Nell Gwyn was a little girl. She had a sister named Rose who was about two years older than her. Nell, Rose, and Ellen Gwyn all sold vegetables, fish, and oysters to make a living. Her mother was an alcoholic. Rose, her sister, was arrested and sent to prison for burglary in 1663. Nell Gwyn’s original name was Eleanor Gwyn. She was an actress, as well as the mistress of King Charles II. King Charles II had 13 wives in his lifetime, but Gwyn was the least greedy of them all. She was one of England’s best-known royal mistresses because she rose from such low origins as her parents were not wealthy people. In her early teens, Nell Gwyn was engaged to sell oranges at the King’s Theatre. Soon, she caught the eye of a merchant named John Duncan, who kept her as his mistress. She became an actress and excelled in comedy. Her natural wit and complete lack of self-consciousness caught the eye of the actor Charles Hart and others, and Dryden wrote plays to exploit her talents as a comic actress. She also had a really good voice. In 1665, there was an outbreak of the Great Plague, and theatres were closed for a year. In 1666, the Great Fire destroyed most of Old London, and theatres were closed again. She was the mistress of Charles II from approximately 1669 to his death in 1685. She had two sons with Charles II. On his deathbed, Charles II asked that Nell Gwyn was well taken care of. Gwyn died of a stroke on November 14th, 1687.

Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Nell Gwyn.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia
Britannica, Inc., 29 Jan. 2019,

"Gwynn, Nell (1650–1687).". “Gwynn, Nell (1650–1687).” The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th Ed,, 2019,

“Nell Gwyn - Mistress of King Charles II.” Historic UK,

“Nell Gwynne.” Charles II.,

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Small assignment for Amanda, Tyler, Tyrus, and Darrin

Small helpful assignment for Amanda, Tyler, Tyrus, and Darrin

This strikes me as an easy one.

Amanda and Tyler, please reread "Feminist Fail"

Tyrus and Darrin, please reread "Impeach Her"

Each of you should write one solid paragraph in which you explain why a phrase or short passage you've quoted from your assigned essay is worth quoting, and what is particularly notable about it.

Please quote the phrase or passage properly in the body of your paragraph, and use MLA Works Cited style for in-text and Works Cited citations.  You can put your Works Cited entry below your paragraph rather than use a separate page.

Please turn it in to me no later than Sunday night.

MLA style is easily found, but our handbook (beginning on p. 535) gives the sermon in detail.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Steph on Deism

Deism (Steph Mazur)

Deism, a form of religion associated with the Enlightenment, was a term first used in the 1500s in France, but Deist thought occurred in abundance in England from approximately 1689 to 1742. This may be attributed in large part to the Glorious Revolution when Mary and William became the rulers of England, which ushered in a surprising freedom of religious expression. Up to this point, theism—the belief that God actively intervenes in the lives of men—was the accepted understanding of God (“Deism”). Deists, though maintaining the concept as God as creator, saw God withdrawing from his creation—not interfering in the lives of humans. Deists typically “demoted” Christ from a miracle making savior to an exemplary teacher of morals (“Enlightenment”). This understanding most assuredly led to the metaphor of God as a clockmaker. Notable deists (for the purpose of this class) include Anthony Cooper, Third Earl of Shaftesbury (grandson of the model for Dryden’s titular character Achitophel) and John Locke (the Third Earl of Shaftesbury’s mentor and personal physician of the 1st Earl of Shaftesbury).
Works Cited “Deism.” Encyclopaedia Britannica, 01 Nov. 2017,
Accessed 29 January 2019.
“Enlightenment.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 29 Aug. 2017,
entries/enlightenment/. Accessed 29 January 2019.

Bailey on Spinoza

Baruch Spinoza (Bailey Kintz)

Baruch Spinoza was born in 1632 in Amsterdam. His name means “blessed” in all translations. Baruch was born and raised in a Portuguese-Jewish community. He was enrolled in Talmad Torah school as a young boy and was being prepared for a career as a rabbi. He was on track for becoming a rabbi, when he had to drop out to help his family’s business. Baruch quickly became a very influential philosopher. He worked closely with the Enlightenment and his ideas were very controversial. He denied the immortality of the soul, rejected a transcendent, providential God and said that the Law was not given by God. He left his faith and then left Amsterdam altogether.
His most famous work was the Ethics. This is a work that critiques traditional philosophy and conceptions of God. It also challenged the traditional ideas of the human being, the universe and moral beliefs. Spinoza wanted to lay out the truth in his work. He argued that human happiness and well-being are found in the life of reason. After this, Spinoza studied and wrote as a private scholar. Spinoza died in 1677 at age 44 from tuberculosis or silicosis due to grinding lenses in his life. He is buried in a churchyard in The Hague.


Dutton, B. D. (n.d.). Benedict De Spinoza (1632—1677). Retrieved from   
Nadler, S. (2016, July 04). Baruch Spinoza. Retrieved from   

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Vanessa on Descartes

René Descartes (born March 31, 1596—died February 11, 1650) (Vanessa Gibson)

            According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Descartes was "a creative mathematician of the first order, an important scientific thinker, and an original metaphysician." Those being listed in chronological order. Although surrounded by Aristotelian frameworks in his fields, Descartes was a skeptic—one who was not afraid to desert tradition. In fact, it was his life's mission "to reform all knowledge," (Hatfield).
            Mathematics was Descartes first passion and perhaps his greatest interest. As a mathematician, he developed equations and systems such as the Cartesian coordinates, which, among other contributions, would later evolve into analytic geometry. In the "natural philosophy," or science department, he is credited with several large achievements that would push forward modern science, some of such achievements were his studies of the universe, the components of matter, and how light is reflected and refracted. In metaphysics, which, for Descartes, was not entirely separate from physics, his most notable and long-lasting theory was what we today call "mind-body dualism," but in the 17th century, for Descartes, it was more of a distinction. He claimed that "the nature of the mind (a thinking, non-extended thing) is completely different from that of the body (an extended, non-thinking thing), and therefore it is possible for one to exist without the other." He did not mean that they do exist without the other, only that they could, because they are separate and completely different substances (Skirry, "Mind-Body"). Related to this, is Descartes extremely well-known reasoning—originally written in French as "Je pense, donc je suis," and most famous for its Latin phrasing "Cogito, ergo sum." We know it in English as "I think, therefore I am;" and that because we can say that "I exist," it is an absolute certainty that we do exist.

"Descartes, René: Major Contributions to Science." Infoplease. The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia 6th ed. and Columbia University Press, 2012,            contributions-to-science. Accessed 31 Jan. 2019.
Hatfield, Gary. "René Descartes." Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. The Metaphysics            Research Lab and Center for the Study of Language and Information (CSLI) and      Stanford University, first published 3 Dec, 2008; substantive revision 16 Jan, 2014. Accessed 31 Jan. 2019.
Skirry, Justin. "René Descartes (1596-1650)." Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Internet             Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Accessed 31 Jan. 2019.
Skirry, Justin. "René Descartes: The Mind-Body Distinction." Internet Encyclopedia of    Philosophy. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.       Accessed 31 Jan. 2019.
Watson, A. Richard. "René Descartes: French Mathematician and Philosopher." Britannica.             Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., last revised 20 Dec. 2018. Accessed 31 Jan. 2019.

            (1) Portrait photo provided by Science Source
            (2) [Collection of nine images including astronomical instruments, celestial charts, and a world map] contributed by an article written by James Ferguson for The Gentleman's   Magazine, March 1769.