Conservative paronia driven by homophobia.
Youth[ edit ] Rousseau was born in Genevawhich was at the time a city-state and a Protestant associate of the Swiss Confederacy.
SinceGeneva had been a Huguenot republic and the seat of Calvinism. Five generations before Rousseau, his ancestor Didier, a bookseller who may have published Protestant tracts, had escaped persecution from French Catholics by fleeing to Geneva inwhere he became a wine merchant.
Rousseau was proud that his family, of the moyen order or middle-classhad voting rights in the city. The citizens were a minority of the population when compared to the immigrants, referred to as "inhabitants", whose descendants were called "natives" and continued to lack suffrage.
In fact, rather than being run by vote of the "citizens", the city was ruled by a small number of wealthy families that made up the "Council of Two Hundred"; these delegated their power to a twenty-five member executive group from among them called the "Little Council".
There was much political debate within Geneva, extending down to the tradespeople. Much discussion was over the idea of the sovereignty of the people, of which the ruling class oligarchy was making a mockery.
Ina democratic reformer named Pierre Fatio protested this situation, saying "a sovereign that never performs an act of sovereignty is an imaginary being". Jean-Jacques Rousseau's father, Isaacwas not in the city at this time, but Jean-Jacques's grandfather supported Fatio and was penalized for it.
Isaac followed his grandfather, father and brothers into the business, except for a short stint teaching dance as a dance master.
After local officials stepped in, it was Isaac who was punished, as Geneva was concerned with maintaining its ties to foreign powers. She was raised by her uncle Samuel Bernard, a Calvinist preacher.
He cared for Suzanne after her father Jacques who had run into trouble with the legal and religious authorities for fornication and having a mistress died in his early thirties. Vincent Sarrasin, whom she fancied despite his continuing marriage. After a hearing, she was ordered by the Genevan Consistory to never interact with him again.
Isaac's sister had married Suzanne's brother eight years earlier, after she had become pregnant and they had been chastised by the Consistory. The child died at birth. Later, the young Rousseau was told a romantic fairy-tale about the situation by the adults in his family—a tale where young love was denied by a disapproving patriarch but that prevailed by sibling loyalty that, in the story, resulted in love conquering all and two marriages uniting the families on the same day.
Rousseau never learnt the truth.
When Rousseau was five, his father sold the house that the family had received from his mother's relatives. While the idea was that his sons would inherit the principal when grown up and he would live off the interest in the meantime, in the end the father took most of the substantial proceeds.
Every night, after supper, we read some part of a small collection of romances [adventure stories], which had been my mother's. My father's design was only to improve me in reading, and he thought these entertaining works were calculated to give me a fondness for it; but we soon found ourselves so interested in the adventures they contained, that we alternately read whole nights together and could not bear to give over until at the conclusion of a volume.
Sometimes, in the morning, on hearing the swallows at our window, my father, quite ashamed of this weakness, would cry, "Come, come, let us go to bed; I am more a child than thou art. Of these, his favorite was Plutarch 's Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romanswhich he would read to his father while he made watches.
Rousseau saw Plutarch's work as another kind of novel—the noble actions of heroes—and he would act out the deeds of the characters he was reading about. Throughout his life, he would recall one scene where, after the volunteer militia had finished its manoeuvres, they began to dance around a fountain and most of the people from neighboring buildings came out to join them, including him and his father.
Rousseau would always see militias as the embodiment of popular spirit in opposition to the armies of the rulers, whom he saw as disgraceful mercenaries. To avoid certain defeat in the courts, he moved away to Nyon in the territory of Bern, taking Rousseau's aunt Suzanne with him.
He remarried, and from that point Jean-Jacques saw little of him. Here, the boys picked up the elements of mathematics and drawing. Rousseau, who was always deeply moved by religious services, for a time even dreamed of becoming a Protestant minister.
At age 13, Rousseau was apprenticed first to a notary and then to an engraver who beat him. At 15, he ran away from Geneva on 14 March after returning to the city and finding the city gates locked due to the curfew. She was a noblewoman of Protestant background who was separated from her husband.verb errors made by generation 1 5 and esl writers with the same l1 chinese.
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