What was the role of French philosophers and revolutionary thinkers in the French Revolution
What was the role of French philosophers
and revolutionary thinkers in the French
Answer: The 18th century witnessed the emergence of revolutionary thinkers such as John Locke, Jean Jacques Rousseau and Montesquieu. They didn't play any active role in the events of the revolution
but their ideas inspired the revolutionary movement.
Their revolutionary ideas encouraged people to fight for their rights.
1. The idea of a society based on freedom, equal laws and opportunities for all were put forward by philosophers such as John Locke and Jean Jacques
Rousseau. In his book Two Treatises of
Government, Locke sought to refute the doctrine of the divine and absolute right of the monarch.
2. Rousseau carried his radical ideas forward by proposing a form of government based on social contract between people and their representatives.
3. Montesquieu, in his book, The Spirit of the Laws proposed a division of power within the government between the legislative, the executive and the
4. Voltaire's ideas revolved around individual liberties. He believed that people should have freedom of
The ideas of these philosophers were discussed and debated in salons and coffee houses and spread among people through books and newspapers. This founded the way to revolution of 1789.