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restricting access to ideas and information
informal social gatherings at which writers, philosophes, and others exchanged ideas
ornate style of art and architecture popular in the 1600's and 1700's
personal, elegant style of art and architecture made popular during the mid-1700's that featured designs with the shapes of leaves, shells, and flowers
absolute rulers who used their power to bring about political and social change
Frederick the Great
exerted extremely tight control over his subjects during his reign as king of Prussia from 1740-1786
Catherine the Great
became empress of Russia in 1762, made some limited reforms in law and government, and abolished torture and established religious tolerance
son of Maria Theresa, the most radical of the enlightened despots, traveled in disguise among hsi subjects to learn of their problems
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