Jean Jacques Rousseau is arguably among the most famous people in the French history that lived during the 18th century. Jean lived between 1712 and 1778. Notably, he was a Geneva philosopher, composer, and writer who influenced the growth and development of democracy among the French people via his works. Despite the fact that Jean had a number of novels under his name, the most celebrated ones were On Education, The New Heloise and Confessions. On Education was an educative novel that sensitizes people about their rights, while the other two were romantic novels. Additionally, he was a successful music composer as he composed several operas during the French revolution making him the most famous philosopher then.
This paper evaluates the legacy of Jean Jacques Rousseau during his life. Regarding that, the essay discusses the contributions that he made to the growth and development of democracy.
As noticed before, Jean was born in 1712 during the 18th century in Geneva. Notably, during that period, Geneva was a city-state associated with Protestants who had took refuge due to the French Catholics brutality. The wealth class governed Geneva and only men voted in their elections. Despite the fact, Jean’s father was a watchmaker, but his mother came from a wealthy family and their relatives gave them a house in their neighborhood. However, his father sold the house later on and they moved to a lower class neighborhood where most people who lived there were artisans. In this neighborhood, he became interested in politics since most of the people there were involved in political rebels against the wealthy ruling class. Later on, Jean converted to Catholic and had to move out of Geneva; though, he would convert back to Protestantism since he had to regain his citizenship. With encouragement from his father to read while he was young, he became a celebrated writer who educated people about their rights and the need for democracy. Jean contributed greatly to the development and growth of democracy as discussed below.
Firstly, Jean contributed to the development of democracy in Switzerland through his works. During the 18th century, Jean was among the most celebrated writers and philosophers in Geneva. The residence of this place was mostly involved in rebellious discussions about the ruling class. With his initial interest and passion for writing, Jean decided to start writing novels. He wrote several romance novels but he receives much credit for his educative novel about democracy known as Social Contract. This novel was educative and insightful to the lower class minority about their rights. Arguably, this pushed the people’s interest towards acquiring of democracy in their state and finally they managed to get it.
Secondly, Jean contributed to the development of democracy through fame and positive influence on the community. As noted before, he was the most famous philosopher in Geneva during the 18th century. Regarding that, Jean had an enormous following and many people would embrace what he would advise. Unlike other people who would have used that advantage negatively, Jean applied positive use of his power of influence. He embraced democracy and used that chance to advise people and the rulers on the need for democracy. According to him, men did not have to give up their natural rights for government. He pushed for democratic way of electing leaders rather than aristocracy way of government. The people were to choose the leaders whom they thought were the best rather than being imposed on by the aristocratic government. Additionally, Jean lived by example so that the people and the government would emulate him. In everything he did, he applied democracy and this had much of positive influence to the development of the Switzerland democracy.
Lastly, Jean contributed to the development of democracy since they invited him to give recommendations about the constitution in 1772. Despite the fact that the leadership of Geneva was against Jean’s books and ideas, they knew he had important points that could help them to develop the constitution that the lower class were fighting for. The lower class wanted democracy in the country; just the same thing Jean had been addressing in his books. Regarding that, in 1772, they called him to give his idea about the recommendations of the new constitution. According to Jean, democracy was ideal for any state and that was among the things that he recommended the constitution must have. This was ideal and contributed to the development of democracy.
In conclusion, Jean Jacques Rousseau played a significant role in the development of democracy. Notably, he did several things that contributed to this. Firstly, Jean encouraged the development of democracy in Switzerland through his works. He wrote several romance novels, but he receives much credit for his educative novel about democracy known as Social Contract. This novel was educative and insightful to the lower class minority about their rights. Secondly, he promoted the development of democracy through fame and positive influence to the community. Unlike other people who would have used that advantage negatively, Jean applied positive use of his power of influence on the people that embrace democracy.