In writing so personally in his works Confessions, Reveries of a Solitary Walker as well other writings, Rousseau invented modern autobiography.
His novel Julie, ou la nouvelle Héloise was important to the development of romanticism and one of the best selling works of the 18th century.
With such vast and diverse contributions, Rousseau inevitably left a legacy of inspiring and insightful quotes for us to enjoy.
Free people, remember this maxim: we may acquire liberty,
but it is never recovered if it is once lost.
Heroes are not known by the loftiness of their carriage; the greatest braggarts are generally the merest cowards.
It is unnatural for a majority to rule, for a majority can seldom be organized and united for specific action, and a minority can.
Every man having been born free and master of himself, no one else may under any pretext whatever subject him without his consent. To assert that the son of a slave is born a slave is to assert that he is not born a man.
I have never thought, for my part, that man's freedom consists in his being able to do whatever he wills, but that he should not, by any human power, be forced to do what is against his will.
Most nations, as well as people are impossible only in their youth; they become incorrigible as they grow older.
Every man has a right to risk his own life for the preservation of it.
I am not made like any of those I have seen. I venture to believe that I am not made like any of those who are in existence. If I am not better, at least I am different.
Civilization is a hopeless race to discover remedies for the evils it produces.
Liberty is not to be found in any form of government; she is in the heart of the free man; he bears her with him everywhere.
The strongest is never strong enough to be always the master, unless he transforms his strength into right, and obedience into duty.
As soon as any man says of the affairs of the State "What does it matter to me?" the State may be given up for lost.
Why should we build our happiness on the opinons of others, when we can find it in our own hearts?
The happiest is the person who suffers the least pain; the most miserable who enjoys the least pleasure.
Nature never deceives us; it is we who deceive ourselves.
I perceive God everywhere in His works. I sense Him in me; I see Him all around me
It is too difficult to think nobly when one thinks only of earning a living.
The English are predisposed to pride, the French to vanity.
Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.
The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless.
We are born weak, we need strength; helpless, we need aid; foolish, we need reason. All that we lack at birth, all that we need when we come to man's estate, is the gift of education.
We should not teach children the sciences; but give them a taste for them.
People who know little are usually great talkers, while men who know much say little.
Falsehood has an infinity of combinations, but truth has only one mode of being.
A country cannot subsist well without liberty, nor liberty without virtue.
All of my misfortunes come from having thought too well of my fellows.
Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains.
However great a man's natural talent may be, the act of writing cannot be learned all at once.
He who is slowest in making a promise is most faithful in its performance.