by Daniel Gurpide

Voltaire‘s political outlook, for instance, was emphatically practical and flexible, embedded in and addressed to the specific circumstances of various European nations. He supported a mixed constitutional government in England, a more popular republic in Geneva and Holland, a strong monarchy in France, and an even stronger and more centralized one in Frederick‘s Prussia and Catherine‘s Russia. While he generally had kinder things to say about England and Geneva than France, Prussia, or Russia, he did not think that any of these regimes was simply the ‚best‘. On the contrary, he insisted that such judgments cannot properly be made in the abstract, that they can only be based on contextually sensitive empirical analysis.