Jean Jacques Rousseau

Jean Jacques Rousseau was born June 28, 1712 in the Republic of Geneva. He was born into a middle class working family, his father was a watchmaker and his mother attended to their home. Nine days after Jean’s mother gave birth to him, she died from the puerperal fever. Most of Jean’s childhood he was brought up by his grandparents and aunt because his father had to travel on business.

At the age of 15 Jean decided to run away from his home to find a career for himself. He later tried to return home but the gates to Geneva were already close, leaving him stranded. That night he took refuge in a near by church where he met Francoise-Louise de Warens. Francoise-Louise was interested by the young intelligent boy and decided to take him under her wing. At 16, Jean received a job to be a footman of the ambassador of France in Paris. This is when he was exposed to government because he was able to closely watch the action.

While living in Paris, Jean saw how corrupt and artificial society was. He was the eyes of the people and he could see how unhappy they were with the state of their government. Seeing this gave Jean ideas that he then started to put into writings. His first essay was called “Discourse on the Arts and Sciences”, it told of how art and science have not been beneficial to mankind and that process of knowledge had made the government strong, but crushed the peoples individual liberty. Jean’s most accredited work was “The Social Contract”. This essay described mans relationship with society, and how man is brutish by nature but society/laws conform them to be good citizens.

Jean was a pioneer in the idea’s that the government should insure a citizens freedom, equality, and justice. He was also the first to believe that people should be given the rights to private property and that morality and politics should not be separated throughout the system. His idea’s about education helped push forward the modern education theory.

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Jean Jacques Rousseau. (2018, Aug 14). Retrieved from