The ideas that fed into the revolutionary ideology of the French Revolution came largely from the political philosophy of the Enlightenment. The rise of public debate, in newspapers, journals, Masonic lodges, coffee houses, and reading clubs gave a space for intellectual curiosity, political scrutiny, acquiring knowledge through reason, and ideals such as liberty, toleration, fraternity and the separation of church and state, to become popular in the public consciousness. This was responsible for both the indirect and direct push for a revolutionary movement as the monarchy tried to repress such underground literature. But ultimately these ideas led to the feeling of the general public being empowered and in control of the current mood of society, and the growth of a public sphere of discourse.
Many mottos were commonly used to describe the spirit of the age, but none as central as "Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité", a phrase that was clearly a legacy of the Age of Enlightenment, and, although contested, became a defining quote of the French Revolution. Enlightenment ideas and the the Revolution were so interwoven these ideals outlasted the political turmoil that followed the revolution and through the formation of three republics, going on to be written into the 1958 French Constitution, becoming an integral part of French heritage. Without the social and philosophical framework of public discourse and the Enlightenment, a revolution of the scale of the French Revolution may not have been realised, as French society would not be able to communicate a public mood and act in the interest of it.