Voltaire (a pen name) lived from 1694 to 1778 in France. He moved the Enlightenment - the awakening of a new political and social consciousness that would give birth to democracy - forward with his humor and courage.
Voltaire was imprisoned for his beliefs and writings many times. He did not stop writing. He was a model, therefore, of the courage to speak even when freedom of speech was not part of national law. And he wrote about freedom of speech, freedom of expression, civil liberties, free trade, and separation of church and state. His writing was very influential in the American colonies of Great Britain, and all of these ideas were included in the Constitution of the United States.
To put it simply, he allowed himself to be imprisoned that the Founding Fathers of the United States and those who stood up for Liberty in France might receive these ideas, and so that the Western world might develop democracy and live in Freedom until today.
May we remember his courage and nourish our freedom!