The Enlightenment Age was a period in human history which lasted roughly from 1700 A.D. to about 1850 A.D. This period is commonly known as the "Age of Reason" and is aptly named due to the boom in creative thinking and the pursuit for knowledge. New ways of thinking and ideals were prevalent throuhout the world and in Europe. Great thinkers and philosphers such as Thomas Hobbes, Thomas Paine, John Locke and Voltaire all discussed ideas about government, society, human nature, natural rights, and challenged old beliefs that had been around for centuries. This era saw the dramatic growth of the military power of Prussia, led by Frederick the Great, who miraculously held his own against the armies of France, Russia, Austria and Sweden on his own for years.
During this period also occurred the destabilization of many colonial empires. Of particular importance in the future was the American Revolution, which created a new nation. The French Revolution also occurred, overthrowing the traditional system of monarchy and feudalism more or less for good; at the same time, it also set the stage for the Napoleonic Wars. Latin America, which had been under Spanish control since the early 16th century, was also consumed by a series of revolutions which left Spain bankrupt and economically backwards. Another traditional European power was also destroyed by Napoleon, the Holy Roman Empire.
Religious beliefs were the topic of much debate as these thinkers searched for proof and evidence to support claims. Scientists like Isaac Newton developed new scientific principles and methods that form the basis of many scientific and mathmatical teachings today. The first steamship also came into use during this era, invented by Robert Fulton; it foreshadowed the industrialization to come.
After advancing to the Enlightenment Age, players are given a new palette of buildings to build, technologies to research, and units to create. This age marks an increase in technology and research, and thus allows players to create more advanced units and economic upgrades. Nation powers and abilities begin to form in this age, and play an important role in expansion. This age also sees the disappearance of Archers as they merge together with Gunpowder Infantry.
The icon of the Enlightenment Age is based on the Big Ben Clock located in London, United Kingdom.
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