The scientific revolution was a time for development and growth in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It was a time for discovery and knowledge. Since this was a new concept, it wasn’t widely accepted amongst everyone, as we often see when something new emerges. Factors that affected the work of scientists in the sixteenth and seventeenth century were political factors because political authorities offered guidance which was necessary for continuation.
Social factors influenced progression and acceptance of these new theories as well as created a community to allow for greater contribution. Finally, religious factors offered a source of acceptance from higher powers as well as allowed for development on both ends. Politics was a structure put in place in order to be able to govern advice and implement solutions to problems in society. The growth of the scientific revolution presented new theories to society which needed to be viewed to prevent further problems and their practices needed to be guided and assisted.
The view of many higher positioned people participating and supporting the revolution recognize that they cannot do it solely on their own means and need governing and guidance from people who attain the skill necessary. Francois Bacon, an English Philosopher of science implemented a plan in 1620 (document 4), to reorganize the sciences which helped the progression of these sciences because it was recognized that it was no fault of the scientists that it was not making significant progress, it was the fault of path it was taking.
Walter Charleton, an English doctor and natural philosopher further supported this idea of the scientist required assistance in bringing their ideas forth and making progress. He compared wisdom and power to atoms in how they cannot “self-govern” or “fix themselves” because sometimes it is merely impossible to create something so large when you are much smaller than your contribution. Social factors were prominent because even in the sixteenth to seventeenth century, fads were prominent and what was widely accepted and believed by one, was believed by many.
This not only helped society become more unified in their beliefs, but it helped the revolution catch on because it spread up progression and allowed for changes within the society. Giovanni Ciampoli, an Italian Monk wrote a letter to Galileo (document 3) contributing thoughts to what he had discovered and how to make the idea larger than life. This allowed for a sense of contribution and purpose as well as helped contribute to the spread.
This idea was brought up again by Henry Oldenbury, the Secretary of the English Royal Society in a letter to a German scientist (document 6). He expresses the idea of friendship and how it pertains to education by the act of friendship being spread through the world of learning and those who have common interests like science should be more prominent. This helps the growth of society and unification of people from different backgrounds connecting through the same interest.
It also allowed for development as a society, to stray from social norms as women were now being involved with this revolution which was uncommon up until this time. Margret Cavendish, an English Natural Philosopher wrote in her Observations on Experimental Philosophy, that the inclusiveness of females was a stride necessary to be made and since they were creating a scientific community through this revolution, it was beneficial and allowed more people to participate.
This was a stride viewed by women as very important and allowed for greater contributions. The church was still a prominent force in many parts of Europe leading in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The church was looked upon as a safe haven and place to go where to repent and gain acceptance into society. Traditionally, many people consulted their church before making decisions or acting in an otherwise questionable manor, because they could offer acceptance that was greater than just the written word.
Nicolaus Copernicus, a priest and astronomer in a book on the Revolution of Heavenly Spheres (document 1) that reputable acknowledgement for the people (including himself) that has chosen that path, and that what is being done is worthy and should be done by those who can. Not only, does this benefit the scientists conducting the research in Copernicus’s writings, he claims that their works will contribute to the wellbeing of the church which is beneficial on both ends.
Not only has this converted rejecters of the idea into acceptors, it has allowed for people to feel that what they’re practicing is moral as not everyone thought it was. John Calvin, a French Protestant theologian comments on the First Book of Moses (genesis) (document 2). In this document, we see the point of a person involved with religion and believes that the study should not be disallowed because it is something new because we don’t know how useful it may be unless we accept the findings and allow its benefits to unfold.
He connects it back to God and claims that this form of study is an “admirable wisdom of God” which allowed people to connect with that power and believe if it is accepted by them, it is accepted by many. The Scientific Revolution was aided through the guidance presented by politics, religious acceptance development as well as social allowance for contribution and acceptance. However, the Scientific Revolution also aided society in helping the state thrive politically, development of the church as well as allowing for contribution and the broken barrier of classes and acceptance through common interest.