reason given to them by God more effectively than in the past. They should introduce crop rotations, build better storage facilities for food, use fertilizer and better seeds. In short, the crisis, they believed, could have been avoided if the Enlightened programme for improvements in the field of agriculture had been implemented.
Fifth, those inspired by the Enlightenment took a new interest in the cultures outside of Europe. While the Pietists sent missionaries to foreign lands, Enlightened scientists attempted to explore and describe societies in Asia and Africa, particularly in non-Christian countries like Iran, India, China, andJapan. They looked at these cultures not as the missionaries did, that is as heathens who needed nothing more than the light of the gospel, but with the eyes of ethnologists. In the belief that all cultures and all peoples were equal, as explained by Johann Gottfried Herder, they tried to learn. European imperialism and colonialism came later.
Sixth and finally, a special concern of committed members of the Enlightened elite was the toleration of Jews. Well into the eighteenth century Jews in Germany were barely tolerated. In order to secure residence, they had to pay extra fees, without ever reaching a state of civil acceptance. This was so when the Enlightened elite began to demand the complete equality of all members of all religions, including the Jews. Major steps in this direction were first made by Emperor Joseph II of Austria. Other sovereigns, including Frederick the Great, followed his example. At the time of the outbreak of the French Revolution, Jewish citizens of many towns had been given a more secure status, but popular hostility, both in the Catholic as well as in the Protestant parts of Germany, persisted. Many Protestants, and especially those who felt attached to the cause of mission, propagated the idea that the conversion of all Jews to Christianity (the Judenmission) would be the solution to the problem. It was still a long way before the vision of a multi-faith Germany that would include all the various forms of Protestants, Catholics, and Jews would be realized. By 1789, the programme of religious tolerance so eloquently and impressively spelled out by Lessing in his Nathan der Weise was far from being accepted as a way of life.
As can be imagined, it took an enormous effort before such a comprehensive and challenging agenda as the one proposed by the representatives of the Enlightenment could be implemented, even if only in part. When the French Revolution totally changed European affairs, much had not been completed. As many observers of the events in France came to believe that the radical Enlightenment was to blame for the sudden upheaval of the old order, it became much harder to carry through reforms based on Enlightened ideas
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