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Voltaire (1694 - 1778) was one of the most influential thinkers of the Enlightenment.
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In the 1770s, Western Europe was under the influence of the Enlightenment. [See figure I for map of Western Europe] These 18th Century intellectual movements stimulated the outbreak of the French Revolution via spreading ideas of philosophical science and reason a propos the study of human culture and the natural world. At the core of the Enlightenment was the philosophes, a group of professional writers and scientists who advocated reform.13 These thinkers or philosophes of the Enlightenment persistently encouraged that the monarchy should promote the good of all France and not just the specific needs or interests of a particular elite. They challenged the absolute right to rule and promoted ideas for the abolition of the social class system. Their most important political value was liberty and they believed that a strong monarchy was liberty's best defense. These philosophes included Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Jacques Necker, Montesquieu, A.R.J. Turgot, the Physiocrats and the Encyclopedists.
Voltaire (1694 - 1778) was one of the most influential thinkers of the Enlightenment. Voltaire, (also known as "Le Voltaire" by his followers) was a French philosopher, historian and writer. He did more than any other man did in
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