The enlightenment and the beginnings of modern Serbian culture
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The Enlightenment, mostly in its Austrian form, influenced in many ways the Serbs both in the Habsburg Empire and in the Principality of Serbia, still under Ottoman suzerainty. First, its emphasis on the value of knowledge and science raised the awareness of the importance of education and contributed to its development. Religious tolerance and anticlericalism placed Orthodox Serbs side by side with representatives of other nations and religions and helped them to liberate themselves from the strong traditionalist impact of their church. Both education and a new awareness of their own rights strengthened national consciousness, eventually leading to the creation of a nation state and modern national culture.