The Spirit of the Laws Quotes by Montesquieu
BARON DE MONTESQUIEU
Montesquieu was one of the great political philosophers of the Enlightenment. Insatiably curious and mordantly funny, he constructed a naturalistic account of the various forms of government, and of the causes that made them what they were and that advanced or constrained their development. He used this account to explain how governments might be preserved from corruption. He saw despotism, in particular, as a standing danger for any government not already despotic, and argued that it could best be prevented by a system in which different bodies exercised legislative, executive, and judicial power, and in which all those bodies were bound by the rule of law. This theory of the separation of powers had an enormous impact on liberal political theory, and on the framers of the constitution of the United States of America.
The French satirist writer using sarcasm to communicate his message and political and social philosopher Montesquieu was the first of the great French scholars associated with the Enlightenment a philosophical movement in the eighteenth century that rejected traditional social and religious ideas by placing reason as the most important ideal. His father, Jacques de Secondat, was a soldier Montesquieu. Courtesy of the Library of Congress. The influence of this period remained with Charles Louis, showing itself in his deep attachment to the soil. Montesquieu was also born into a climate of discontent in France. His unsuccessful wars and attempts to dictate religion and culture had a bad effect on France.
Educated first at home and then in the village, he was sent away to school in It was much patronized by the prominent families of Bordeaux , and the priests of the Oratory, to whom it belonged, provided a sound education on enlightened and modern lines. Charles-Louis left Juilly in , continued his studies at the faculty of law at the University of Bordeaux , graduated, and became an advocate in ; soon after he appears to have moved to Paris in order to obtain practical experience in law. He was called back to Bordeaux by the death of his father in Two years later he married Jeanne de Lartigue, a wealthy Protestant, who brought him a respectable dowry of , livres and in due course presented him with two daughters and a son, Jean-Baptiste. But he does not appear to have been either faithful or greatly devoted to her.
He is famous for his articulation of the theory of separation of powers , which is implemented in many constitutions throughout the world. He is also known for doing more than any other author to secure the place of the word " despotism " in the political lexicon. The next year, he married the Protestant Jeanne de Lartigue, who eventually bore him three children. Montesquieu's early life occurred at a time of significant governmental change. England had declared itself a constitutional monarchy in the wake of its Glorious Revolution —89 , and had joined with Scotland in the Union of to form the Kingdom of Great Britain. These national transformations had a great impact on Montesquieu; he would refer to them repeatedly in his work.