Jules Michelet was a French historian. He was born in Paris to a family with Huguenot traditions.
In his 1855 work, Histoire de France, Jules Michelet was the first historian to use and define the word Renaissance as a period in Europe's cultural history that represented a drastic break from the Middle Ages, creating a modern understanding of humanity and its place in the world. Historian François Furet wrote that his History of the French Revolution remains "the cornerstone of all revolutionary historiography and is also a literary monument". His aphoristic style emphasized his anti-clerical republicanism.