What Were the Accomplishments of Jean Jacques Rousseau?

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Jean Jacques Rousseau was a writer, composer and philosopher in the 1700s who had many accomplishments, including publishing works that influence literature, society and politics, creating operas and contributing to music theory. Rousseau’s political theories served as catalysts behind both the American and French Revolutions. His writing “Julie, ou la nouvelle Heloise” serves as the precursor to Romanticism in literature and fiction.

Rousseau’s first published work and first opera, “Les Muses Galantes,” led to a friendship with Voltaire. In 1950, he won an essay competition from the Academy of Dijon for his work “Discourse on Arts and Sciences,” which addressed the impact of the two subjects on the morality of man. His 1754 “Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality” asserted that an institutionalized life leads to the corruption of the natural goodness of man. In 1762, Rousseau published two extremely important works, “Emile” and “The Social Contract”. “Emile,” also known as “On Education,” contained Rousseau’s views on the monarchy and government as a whole. The work asserted that the institution of religion differed from the natural religion of man, which caused the churches to rise against him, banned his books in France and Geneva and caused him to have to flee from the authorities, who would arrest and persecute him for his beliefs.