Western Civ Timeline

  • Montesquieu

    Montesquieu was a French social commentator and political thinker. He lived during the Enlightenment period. He is mostly famous for his articulation of the theory of separation of powers. This theory is taken for granted in modern discussions of government and is also implemented in many constitutions throughout the world. He was largely responsible for the popularization of the terms feudalism and Byzantine Empire.
  • Voltaire

    Voltaire was a French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher famous for his advocacy of civil liberties, including freedom of religion and expression, free trade and separation of church and state. Voltaire was a prolific writer, producing works in mostly every literary form, including plays, poetry, novels, essays, and also historical and scientific works.
  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau

    Jean-Jacques Rousseau
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a Genevan philosopher, writer, and also a composer of 18th-century Romanticism of French expression. His political philosophy heavily influenced the French Revolution as well as the overall development of modern political, sociological and educational thought.
  • Denis Diderot

    Denis Diderot
    Denis Diderot was a French philosopher, art critic, and writer. He was a very important person during the Enlightenment and is known for serving as co-founder of and contributor to the Encyclopédie with Jean le Rond d'Alembert.
  • The Marquis de Condorcet

    The Marquis de Condorcet
    The Marquis de Condorcet was a French philosopher, mathematician, and also an early political scientist and his Condorcet method in voting tally selects the candidate who would beat all of the other candidates in a run-off election.
  • Mary Wollstonecraft

    Mary Wollstonecraft
    Mary Wollstonecraft was an eighteenth-century British writer, philosopher, and also an advocate of women's rights. In her brief career, she wrote novels, a travel narrative, a history of the French Revolution, and also a children's book. Wollstonecraft is best known for arguing that women are not naturally inferior to men, but appear to be only because they lack education. She suggests that both men and women should be treated as balanced beings and imagines a social order founded on reason.