The Enlightenment began in France. The French thinkers who were the Enlightenment called their era so because they believed that they were coming into an age of reason and science from an age of ignorance and closed minds. The Enlightenment encompassed rationalism and skepticism. It threw out the old ideas of Aristotle and other ancients who were relied on.
Fact Sheet on the Enlightenment:
To sum it all up: The Enlightenment, also known as the Age of Reason/Rationalism was a period when philosphers emphasized the use of reason as the best method of learning truth.
When: 1600'S - 1700'S
Originated in: France
Explored issues in: education, law, philosophy, politics, social and societal issues
Emphasized: experimentation, careful observation, scientific method
Attacked issues such as: tyranny, social injustice, superstition, ignorance