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Voltaire's Influence on French Revolution SP
French Revolution – Voltaire
Before going into Voltaire himself, lets look at how the Enlightenment had affected and influenced the French Revolution itself. "The Enlightenment" or " The Age of Reasoning" took place in the 18th century, and was a new stage of thought that many enlightenment philosopher had come up with. Their main idea was told that people should think for themselves and the phrase," Cause and Effect" also stood strongly in the Enlightened Age.
From the many great philosophers, one of the most influential thinkers of the Enlighenment was Voltaire. Anybody who has heard of his name can automatically think of one other word, " Candide". This is his most successful and top-leading books of all time. Which brings us to show that Voltaire was an Enlightened writer. Moreover, he was a historian, essayist, play writer, storyteller, and a poet. All of his writings were based on being against absolute power, human cruelty, discrimination, war and many more. Then again, all writers of this age were based on the same topics, how was he able to stand out? The secret to that was he used a special device called satire. He was known to be the " King of Satire" and this was something that caught many people's attention.
However,sometimes his thoughts were too strong and publicly shown that he was sent to jail several times. For instance, he had criticized the King, and the church which definitely made them furious, and in the end made Voltaire suffer. We can say that Voltaire shouldn't have done those actions, for he would've obviously known what his consequences would be, however now that we have seen what his contribution has done, because of his courageous actions he has given a stronger reason for a French Revolution and influenced it in that way very powerfully.
Another component Voltaire had used to help the French Revolution was dominating the French Culture, just like when French Culture dominated Europe. Voltaire thought that logical, standarized, and ordered thinking could be applied to all areas of human activity. This has been also carried onto governmental issues as well. This showed the leaders of many areas to believe they could lead their thoughts to progress even after a long period of hardship.
All these movements helped to create a inventive framework for The French Revolution.
1. Article written by Robin Chew- November 1995
“ Voltaire, Author and Philosopher”
2. By Richard Hooke- 1996
“ European Enlightenment, The Philosophes”
3. Jane M. Birker- Last updated March 28th 2007, copyright 2001
4. By Jessica Bennett- Published Dec 26th 2005
“ Introduction to Enlightenment Thought and The French Revolution”
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