Voltaire's Affect on Modern Western Society Essay

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“I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to death your right to say it,” were the famous words of Fracois Marie Arouet, more commonly known under the pen name of Voltaire. He was known for being very outspoken and rebellious, which got him into trouble with the authorities for most of his life. Voltaire advocated the French bourgeoisie as being ineffective, the aristocracy as being corrupt, and the commoners as being too superstitious. Voltaire’s beliefs on freedom and reason is what ultimately led to the French Revolution, the United States Bill of Rights, and the decrease in the power of the Catholic Church, which have all affected modern western society. The French Revolution was a period of upheaval in France, …show more content…
As one can see, his ideas of religious freedom and the government is what brought about the French Revolution, which has affected France up to this very day because they no longer have a royal absolutist government like they once had. Not only did Voltaire shape the French government, but his ideas also ended up in the United States Bill of Rights. Voltaire fought for civil rights, such as the right to a fair trial and freedom of religion and speech. Early on, Voltaire realized that the Ancien Regime was injustice. He realized that the First Estate (the clergy), the Second Estate (the nobles), and the Third Estate (the commoners and middle class) had an unfair balance of power. He was a large advocate of making the country a more balanced one. When the United States Bill of Rights was written, they made sure to keep the country as equal of power among the people as possible. The amendments of the Bill of Rights limited the powers of the federal government by having checks and balances so that the country wouldn’t end up like France had. The amendments also protected the rights of the citizens. Among the many amendments that were written were freedoms of speech and religion. The Bill of Rights also restricts Congress’ power by prohibiting them from making any law respecting an estalished religion. Moreover, Voltaire spoke openly about having fair trials for all citizens, regardless of who they are. The Bill of Rights
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