How Did Voltaire Influence The French Revolution

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Voltaire also known as Francois-Marie Arouet was a French Enlightenment writer and philosopher. He was an activist who encouraged freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and separation of church and state. Voltaire perceived the French bourgeoisie to be too small and ineffective, the aristocracy to be parasitic and corrupt, the commoners as ignorant and superstitious, and the Church as a stagnant and oppressive force used occasionally as a counterbalance to the selfishness of kings and itself (Shank). Voltaire distrusted democracy and believed in the idea of an enlightened monarch that would protect the people and the people's rights. An enlightened monarch could bring change and it was in the best interest of the king to improve the education…show more content…
Despite the risk and knowing the strict censorship laws during that time, he argued and wrote about religious tolerance and freedom of expression. He believed that human society could and would be improved. He didn’t believe however that reform could be achieved much less be permanent (Kagan). He was arrested and imprisoned several times for speaking and writing about what he believed in. He fled to other countries to escape authorities, he was exiled from France after upsetting a very powerful aristocrat and he was exiled from Berlin after writing a piece that portrayed Pierre-Louis Moreau de Maupertuis as a philosophical idiot (Wikipedia). Voltaire stood by what he believed in and understood that there were consequences for those beliefs and he still advocated for them. The monarchs saw him as a threat because he was such an influential writer and…show more content…
As he got older he changed his focus from writing about breaking from the church, religious tolerance, and freedom of expression and decided to study and write about science and history based off of Newton’s theories. Voltaire lived a full life with fame, fortune, lovers, respect, education, the freedom to feel, to express himself and his opinions without deadly punishment. He advocated for freedoms and rights but his unique mind, his writing skills, and the respect that he was given rewarded him with such freedoms. I don’t feel that Voltaire would have had those freedoms and rights if he didn’t become a respected enlightened writer and

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