Human Rights History and the Age of Enlightenments - Essay Prowess

Human Rights History and the Age of Enlightenments


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Human Rights History and the Age of Enlightenments

During the European history of the 17th and 18th century, many people changed their reasoning philosophy due to the era of The Enlightenment. The period marked the time when philosophers challenged their traditional beliefs that affected the relations with the world. In the seventieth century, Europe was involved in religious wars and many civil wars that generated human rights beliefs and liberalism (Ishay 102). Consequently, there was change in Western thought which led to Western civilization. The European culture of intellectuals changed and they launched an era of democratic revolutions paving way for the rise of Human rights movement (Sheeran and Nigel 87). These movements advocated for universal suffrage throughout the 18th century.

During the Age of Enlightenment from the 16th and 18th centuries, there were significant changes as humankind became individualized due to the Humanism and renaissance. In addition, religion became a private and personalized matter after division in the Church emerged during reformation (Sheeran and Nigel 127). Furthermore, human sciences replaced the theology. Moreover, during the period, philosopher John Locke initiated the modern concept that human beings have special unalienable and universal rights that do not depend on their society. He suggested that human beings possess rights to liberty, life and property ownership (Ishay 107). Civil rights movements continued in the eightieth and nineteenth century where the minority and vulnerable groups demanded their equal rights. People gained more understanding of the legitimate rule that gave rise to revolutionary groups in Europe, which demanded legitimization via ideas. In this respect, Human rights movement emerged during political upheaval period, social re-orientation and revolution.

The history of the Human rights continues to influence the lives of human beings in the contemporary society. In the development of human rights, universal declaration of human rights was initiated, especially following the end of the Second World War (Sheeran, and Nigel 139). They also demanded development of sovereign government that upheld and defended human rights. For instance, the movement in the U.S. and France forced enactment of the Bills of Rights (Ishay 166)

Works Cited

Ishay, Micheline. The History Of Human Rights. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 2008. Print.

Sheeran, Scott, and Sir Nigel Rodley. Routledge Handbook Of International Human Rights Law. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis, 2014. Print.