The Political Landscape Of France

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The political landscape in France had been shifting for a long time before the Enlightenment. The economic and military gains made by Louis XIV, the "Sun King," ultimately crippled the country later when the Estates General failed to overthrow the French government democratically and peacefully. Two great thinkers, Baron de Montesquieu and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, both paved the way for the French and other Enlightenment revolutions during the 18th and 19th centuries. Although neither of the men saw the manifestations of their ideas in the American or French Revolutions, their influence is unquestionable to these movements. Without the political and economic atmosphere in France and Europe during the 18th and 19th century, the ideas and beliefs of thinkers like Montesquieu and Rousseau would not have affected the Enlightenment or other vital political movements during that era.

Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de la Brede et de Montesquieu was born the 18th of January 1689. In this same year, England would undergo the Glorious Revolution, which further removed power from the monarchy and into Parliament. Ironically, one of Montesquieu 's most well-known ideas followed the same vein of thought as the Glorious Revolution. His life began in Southwest France where Montesquieu grew up with his aristocratic family. As part of his education, Montesquieu studied law at the Catholic College of Juilly. During this period, some stark changes occurred in France. In 1715, King Louis XIV
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