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Exhibit 5.2
Lavoisier demonstrating his experiment on the preparation of Oxygen in the laboratory


Joseph Priestley, Antoine Lavoisier and Henry Cavendish laid the foundation of modern chemistry in the 18th century. While Priestley and Cavendish were Englishmen, Lavoisier was a Frenchman. Oxygen was discovered and the separation of water into its elements was made possible. Modern scientific terms came to be used in chemistry.

Rapid development of modern science was possible for several reasons. The kings, ministers as well as princes did much to patronize and encourage scientists. Large pensions were given to them by kings. Well-paid offices were bestowed on them by British ministers. Valuable gifts were showered on them by petty princes. Secondly, observatories were set up with large telescopes in Europe, often at the expense of the public. Thirdly societies or ’academies’ were founded by groups of learned men, such as the Royal Society of London founded in 1662, to keep abreast of the latest developments in mathematics, astronomy and physics. Louis XIV granted pensions to the members of the French Academy of which Newton was an honorary member.

Finally, the development of printing and the growth of wealth made it possible for frequent reports on all branches of learning to be issued. Experience books and encyclopedias giving full information on the findings in all the new sciences, were purchased by nobles and men of the middle class who had the luxury of leisure and learning.


5.0 - Introduction
5.1 Growth and Features of the Revolution
5.2 The Rationalist Spirit and the Contribution of Voltaire
5.3 Application of the Critical Spirit
5.4 Age of Enlightened Despots
5.5 Dates & Events
5.6 Points to Remember

Chapter 6


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