How Did Voltaire Influence The French Revolution

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Throughout history there are events and people that are more memorable than others. For instance King Henry VIII is well known because he had six wives and created the Church of England. Unlike Thomas Cromwell of the same time period who is not as well known. However, the French Revolution is an event that will be remembered in history; the death toll and the radical implementations of philosophical ideas will ensure this.


Born François-Marie Arouet on November 21st, 1694 in Paris, France, Voltaire was the youngest of five children in a middle-class family. François-Marie Arouet was named after both his father and mother; François Arouet, a notary and minor treasury official, and Marie Marguerite d’Aumart, from a noble family of Poitou Province. As a child, he was educated by Jesuits at the Collége Louis-le-Grand in Paris from
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This was the result of his offending a young nobleman, the Chevalier de Rohan. He spent almost three years in exile in Britain from 1726-1729. During this time, he was able to experience English life which greatly influenced his ideas and writings. Voltaire was particularly influenced by Britain’s Constitutional Monarchy and support of freedoms of speech and religion. At this point in history, the Catholics and the Protestants were fighting each other and especially so in France. Yet, even Britain was not exempt from this chaos, just less of it than France; in addition to this, Britain was a Christian country. As a Frenchman, Voltaire came from a country where an absolute monarch was on the throne, and an absolute monarch Louis XV certainly was. Taking after his father the late King Louis XIV, otherwise known as the “Sun King,” Louis XV ruled with the assurance of his divine right and sovereignty. Upon returning to Paris at the end of his exile, he published his views on the English Government, literature, and