What comparisons/ contrasts can be drawn between Enlightenment and Romanticism?

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saintfester | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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The Enlightenment was an 18th century European movement that focused on political and philosophical thought. It promoted science and intellectual exchange and sought to reform or overturn religious and political despotism. The main figures in this movement were scientists, philosophers and mathematicians. The movement had far-reaching political effects, resulting in several revolutions, the foundations of western democracy and the rise of individual right and liberty movements.

Romanticism was a reactionary movement to both the industrial revolution and the aristocratic nature of the Enlightenment. While the Enlightenment emphasizes reason, Romanticism empathized feeling and emotion. This resulted in Romanticism thinkers being though of as irrational.  It came after the Enlightenment, and revolved around the literary and visual arts. It was led by composers, painters and writers. It put new on emphasis on emotions such as horror, love and awe, and greatly expanded the arts in Europe.

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