Charles de Secondat, baron de Montesquieu
Overview
Charles-Louis de Secondat, baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu (ˈmɒntɨskjuː, mɔ̃tɛskjø; 18 January 168910 February 1755), generally referred to as simply Montesquieu, was a French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 social commentator and political thinker
Political philosophy
Political philosophy is the study of such topics as liberty, justice, property, rights, law, and the enforcement of a legal code by authority: what they are, why they are needed, what, if anything, makes a government legitimate, what rights and freedoms it should protect and why, what form it...

 who lived during the Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

. He is famous for his articulation of the theory of separation of powers
Separation of powers
The separation of powers, often imprecisely used interchangeably with the trias politica principle, is a model for the governance of a state. The model was first developed in ancient Greece and came into widespread use by the Roman Republic as part of the unmodified Constitution of the Roman Republic...

, taken for granted in modern discussions of government
Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

 and implemented in many constitution
Constitution
A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed. These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the entity is...

s throughout the world. He was largely responsible for the popularization of the terms feudalism
Feudalism
Feudalism was a set of legal and military customs in medieval Europe that flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries, which, broadly defined, was a system for ordering society around relationships derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labour.Although derived from the...

and Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

.
He was born at the Château de la Brède
Château de la Brède
The Château de la Brède is a feudal castle in the commune of La Brède in the département of Gironde, France.The castle was built in the Gothic style starting in 1306, on the site of an earlier castle. It is surrounded by water-filled moats and an English garden, in the centre of a Bordelais vineyard...

 in the southwest of France.
Encyclopedia
Charles-Louis de Secondat, baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu (ˈmɒntɨskjuː, mɔ̃tɛskjø; 18 January 168910 February 1755), generally referred to as simply Montesquieu, was a French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 social commentator and political thinker
Political philosophy
Political philosophy is the study of such topics as liberty, justice, property, rights, law, and the enforcement of a legal code by authority: what they are, why they are needed, what, if anything, makes a government legitimate, what rights and freedoms it should protect and why, what form it...

 who lived during the Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

. He is famous for his articulation of the theory of separation of powers
Separation of powers
The separation of powers, often imprecisely used interchangeably with the trias politica principle, is a model for the governance of a state. The model was first developed in ancient Greece and came into widespread use by the Roman Republic as part of the unmodified Constitution of the Roman Republic...

, taken for granted in modern discussions of government
Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

 and implemented in many constitution
Constitution
A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed. These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the entity is...

s throughout the world. He was largely responsible for the popularization of the terms feudalism
Feudalism
Feudalism was a set of legal and military customs in medieval Europe that flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries, which, broadly defined, was a system for ordering society around relationships derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labour.Although derived from the...

and Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

.

Biography

He was born at the Château de la Brède
Château de la Brède
The Château de la Brède is a feudal castle in the commune of La Brède in the département of Gironde, France.The castle was built in the Gothic style starting in 1306, on the site of an earlier castle. It is surrounded by water-filled moats and an English garden, in the centre of a Bordelais vineyard...

 in the southwest of France. His father, Jacques de Secondat, was a soldier with a long noble ancestry. His mother, Marie Françoise de Pesnel who died when Charles de Secondat was seven, was a female inheritor of a large monetary inheritance who brought the title of barony of La Brède to the Secondat family. After having studied at the Catholic
Catholic
The word catholic comes from the Greek phrase , meaning "on the whole," "according to the whole" or "in general", and is a combination of the Greek words meaning "about" and meaning "whole"...

 College of Juilly
College of Juilly
The College of Juilly The College of Juilly The College of Juilly (French: Collège de Juilly is a Catholic private teaching establishment located on the commune of Juilly, in Seine-et-Marne (France)...

, Charles-Louis de Secondat married. His wife, Jeanne de Lartigue, a Protestant, brought him a substantial dowry
Dowry
A dowry is the money, goods, or estate that a woman brings forth to the marriage. It contrasts with bride price, which is paid to the bride's parents, and dower, which is property settled on the bride herself by the groom at the time of marriage. The same culture may simultaneously practice both...

 when he was 26. The next year, he inherited a fortune upon the death of his uncle, as well as the title Baron de Montesquieu and Président à Mortier
Président à mortier
The office of président à mortier was one of the most important legal posts of the French ancien régime. The présidents were principal magistrates of the highest juridical institutions, the parlements, which were the appeal courts....

 in the Parliament
Parliament
A parliament is a legislature, especially in those countries whose system of government is based on the Westminster system modeled after that of the United Kingdom. The name is derived from the French , the action of parler : a parlement is a discussion. The term came to mean a meeting at which...

 of Bordeaux. By that time, England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 had declared itself a constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a monarch acts as head of state within the parameters of a constitution, whether it be a written, uncodified or blended constitution...

 in the wake of its Glorious Revolution
Glorious Revolution
The Glorious Revolution, also called the Revolution of 1688, is the overthrow of King James II of England by a union of English Parliamentarians with the Dutch stadtholder William III of Orange-Nassau...

 (1688–89), and had joined with Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 in the Union of 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

. In 1715 the long-reigning Louis XIV died and was succeeded by the five-year-old Louis XV. These national transformations impacted Montesquieu greatly; he would later refer to them repeatedly in his work.

Soon afterwards, he achieved literary success with the publication of his Lettres persanes (Persian Letters
Persian Letters
Persian Letters is a literary work by Charles de Secondat, baron de Montesquieu, recounting the experiences of two Persian noblemen, Usbek and Rica, who are traveling through France.-Plot summary:...

, 1721), a satire
Satire
Satire is primarily a literary genre or form, although in practice it can also be found in the graphic and performing arts. In satire, vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement...

 based on the imaginary correspondence of a Persian
Persian people
The Persian people are part of the Iranian peoples who speak the modern Persian language and closely akin Iranian dialects and languages. The origin of the ethnic Iranian/Persian peoples are traced to the Ancient Iranian peoples, who were part of the ancient Indo-Iranians and themselves part of...

 visitor to Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, pointing out the absurdities of contemporary society. He next published Considérations sur les causes de la grandeur des Romains et de leur décadence (Considerations on the Causes of the Grandeur and Decadence of the Romans, 1734), considered by some scholars a transition from The Persian Letters to his master work. De l'Esprit des Lois (The Spirit of the Laws
The Spirit of the Laws
The Spirit of the Laws is a treatise on political theory first published anonymously by Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu in 1748 with the help of Claudine Guérin de Tencin...

) was originally published anonymously in 1748 and quickly rose to a position of enormous influence. In France, it met with an unfriendly reception from both supporters and opponents of the regime. The Catholic Church banned l'Esprit – along with many of Montesquieu's other works – in 1751 and included it on the Index of Prohibited Books
Index Librorum Prohibitorum
The Index Librorum Prohibitorum was a list of publications prohibited by the Catholic Church. A first version was promulgated by Pope Paul IV in 1559, and a revised and somewhat relaxed form was authorized at the Council of Trent...

. It received the highest praise from the rest of Europe, especially Britain.

Montesquieu was also highly regarded in the British colonies in North America
British North America
British North America is a historical term. It consisted of the colonies and territories of the British Empire in continental North America after the end of the American Revolutionary War and the recognition of American independence in 1783.At the start of the Revolutionary War in 1775 the British...

 as a champion of British liberty (though not of American independence). Political scientist
Political science
Political Science is a social science discipline concerned with the study of the state, government and politics. Aristotle defined it as the study of the state. It deals extensively with the theory and practice of politics, and the analysis of political systems and political behavior...

 Donald Lutz found that Montesquieu was the most frequently quoted authority on government and politics in colonial pre-revolutionary British America, cited more by the American founders than any source except for the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

. Following the American revolution
Revolution
A revolution is a fundamental change in power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively short period of time.Aristotle described two types of political revolution:...

, Montesquieu's work remained a powerful influence on many of the American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 founders, most notably James Madison
James Madison
James Madison, Jr. was an American statesman and political theorist. He was the fourth President of the United States and is hailed as the “Father of the Constitution” for being the primary author of the United States Constitution and at first an opponent of, and then a key author of the United...

 of Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

, the "Father of the Constitution". Montesquieu's philosophy that "government should be set up so that no man need be afraid of another" reminded Madison and others that a free and stable foundation for their new national government required a clearly defined and balanced separation of powers.

Besides composing additional works on society and politics, Montesquieu traveled for a number of years through Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 including Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

 and Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

, spending a year in Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 and 18 months in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 before resettling in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

. He was troubled by poor eyesight, and was completely blind
Blindness
Blindness is the condition of lacking visual perception due to physiological or neurological factors.Various scales have been developed to describe the extent of vision loss and define blindness...

 by the time he died from a high fever in 1755. He was buried in the Église Saint-Sulpice, Paris.

Philosophy of history

Montesquieu's philosophy of history minimized the role of individual persons and events. He expounded the view in Considérations sur les causes de la grandeur des Romains et de leur décadence that each historical event was driven by a principal movement:

It is not chance that rules the world. Ask the Romans, who had a continuous sequence of successes when they were guided by a certain plan, and an uninterrupted sequence of reverses when they followed another. There are general causes, moral and physical, which act in every monarchy, elevating it, maintaining it, or hurling it to the ground. All accidents are controlled by these causes. And if the chance of one battlethat is, a particular causehas brought a state to ruin, some general cause made it necessary for that state to perish from a single battle. In a word, the main trend draws with it all particular accidents.


In discussing the transition from the Republic to the Empire, he suggested that if Caesar and Pompey had not worked to usurp the government of the Republic, other men would have risen in their place. The cause was not the ambition of Caesar or Pompey, but the ambition of man.

Political views

Montesquieu is credited amongst the precursors of anthropology
Anthropology
Anthropology is the study of humanity. It has origins in the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. The term "anthropology" is from the Greek anthrōpos , "man", understood to mean mankind or humanity, and -logia , "discourse" or "study", and was first used in 1501 by German...

, including Herodotus
Herodotus
Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus, Caria and lived in the 5th century BC . He has been called the "Father of History", and was the first historian known to collect his materials systematically, test their accuracy to a certain extent and arrange them in a...

 and Tacitus
Tacitus
Publius Cornelius Tacitus was a senator and a historian of the Roman Empire. The surviving portions of his two major works—the Annals and the Histories—examine the reigns of the Roman Emperors Tiberius, Claudius, Nero and those who reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors...

, to be among the first to extend comparative methods of classification to the political forms in human societies. Indeed, the French political anthropologist Georges Balandier
Georges Balandier
Georges Balandier is a French sociologist, anthropologist and ethnologist noted for his research in Sub-Saharan Africa...

 considered Montesquieu to be "the initiator of a scientific enterprise that for a time performed the role of cultural and social anthropology". According to social anthropologist D.F. Pocock, Montesquieu's 'On the Spirit of Laws' "is the first consistent attempt to survey the varieties of human society, to classify and compare them and, within society, to study the inter-functioning of institutions". Montesquieu's political anthropology gave rise to his theories on government.

Montesquieu's most influential work divided French society into three classes (or trias politica, a term he coined): the monarchy
Monarchy
A monarchy is a form of government in which the office of head of state is usually held until death or abdication and is often hereditary and includes a royal house. In some cases, the monarch is elected...

, the aristocracy
Aristocracy
Aristocracy , is a form of government in which a few elite citizens rule. The term derives from the Greek aristokratia, meaning "rule of the best". In origin in Ancient Greece, it was conceived of as rule by the best qualified citizens, and contrasted with monarchy...

, and the commons. Montesquieu saw two types of governmental power existing: the sovereign
Sovereign
A sovereign is the supreme lawmaking authority within its jurisdiction.Sovereign may also refer to:*Monarch, the sovereign of a monarchy*Sovereign Bank, banking institution in the United States*Sovereign...

 and the administrative. The administrative powers were the executive
Executive (government)
Executive branch of Government is the part of government that has sole authority and responsibility for the daily administration of the state bureaucracy. The division of power into separate branches of government is central to the idea of the separation of powers.In many countries, the term...

, the legislative, and the judicial. These should be separate from and dependent upon each other so that the influence of any one power would not be able to exceed that of the other two, either singly or in combination. This was a radical idea because it completely eliminated the three Estates
Estates of the realm
The Estates of the realm were the broad social orders of the hierarchically conceived society, recognized in the Middle Ages and Early Modern period in Christian Europe; they are sometimes distinguished as the three estates: the clergy, the nobility, and commoners, and are often referred to by...

 structure of the French Monarchy: the clergy
Clergy
Clergy is the generic term used to describe the formal religious leadership within a given religion. A clergyman, churchman or cleric is a member of the clergy, especially one who is a priest, preacher, pastor, or other religious professional....

, the aristocracy, and the people at large represented by the Estates-General
French States-General
In France under the Old Regime, the States-General or Estates-General , was a legislative assembly of the different classes of French subjects. It had a separate assembly for each of the three estates, which were called and dismissed by the king...

, thereby erasing the last vestige of a feudalistic
Feudalism
Feudalism was a set of legal and military customs in medieval Europe that flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries, which, broadly defined, was a system for ordering society around relationships derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labour.Although derived from the...

 structure.

Likewise, there were three main forms of government, each supported by a social "principle": monarchies
Monarchy
A monarchy is a form of government in which the office of head of state is usually held until death or abdication and is often hereditary and includes a royal house. In some cases, the monarch is elected...

 (free governments headed by a hereditary figure, e.g. king, queen, emperor), which rely on the principle of honor; republic
Republic
A republic is a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, have supreme control over the government and where offices of state are elected or chosen by elected people. In modern times, a common simplified definition of a republic is a government where the head of...

s (free governments headed by popularly elected leaders), which rely on the principle of virtue; and despotism
Despotism
Despotism is a form of government in which a single entity rules with absolute power. That entity may be an individual, as in an autocracy, or it may be a group, as in an oligarchy...

s (enslaved governments headed by dictator
Dictator
A dictator is a ruler who assumes sole and absolute power but without hereditary ascension such as an absolute monarch. When other states call the head of state of a particular state a dictator, that state is called a dictatorship...

s), which rely on fear. The free governments are dependent on fragile constitutional arrangements. Montesquieu devotes four chapters of The Spirit of the Laws to a discussion of England, a contemporary free government, where liberty was sustained by a balance of powers. Montesquieu worried that in France the intermediate powers (i.e., the nobility) which moderated the power of the prince were being eroded. These ideas of the control of power were often used in the thinking of Maximilien de Robespierre.

Montesquieu was somewhat ahead of his time in advocating major reform of slavery in The Spirit of the Laws
The Spirit of the Laws
The Spirit of the Laws is a treatise on political theory first published anonymously by Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu in 1748 with the help of Claudine Guérin de Tencin...

. As part of his advocacy he presented a satirical hypothetical list of arguments for slavery, which has been open to contextomy. However, like many of his generation, Montesquieu also held a number of views that might today be judged controversial. He firmly accepted the role of a hereditary aristocracy and the value of primogeniture
Primogeniture
Primogeniture is the right, by law or custom, of the firstborn to inherit the entire estate, to the exclusion of younger siblings . Historically, the term implied male primogeniture, to the exclusion of females...

, and while he endorsed the idea that a woman could head a state, he held that she could not be effective as the head of a family.

Meteorological climate theory

Another example of Montesquieu's anthropological thinking, outlined in The Spirit of the Laws
The Spirit of the Laws
The Spirit of the Laws is a treatise on political theory first published anonymously by Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu in 1748 with the help of Claudine Guérin de Tencin...

and hinted at in Persian Letters
Persian Letters
Persian Letters is a literary work by Charles de Secondat, baron de Montesquieu, recounting the experiences of two Persian noblemen, Usbek and Rica, who are traveling through France.-Plot summary:...

, is his meteorological climate theory, which holds that climate
Climate
Climate encompasses the statistics of temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind, rainfall, atmospheric particle count and other meteorological elemental measurements in a given region over long periods...

 may substantially influence the nature of man and his society. By placing an emphasis on environmental influences as a material condition of life, Montesquieu prefigured modern anthropology's concern with the impact of material conditions, such as available energy sources, organized production systems, and technologies, on the growth of complex socio-cultural systems.

He goes so far as to assert that certain climates are superior to others, the temperate climate of France being ideal. His view is that people living in very warm countries are "too hot-tempered," while those in northern countries are "icy" or "stiff." The climate of middle Europe is therefore optimal. On this point, Montesquieu may well have been influenced by a similar pronouncement in The Histories of Herodotus
Histories (Herodotus)
The Histories of Herodotus is considered one of the seminal works of history in Western literature. Written from the 450s to the 420s BC in the Ionic dialect of classical Greek, The Histories serves as a record of the ancient traditions, politics, geography, and clashes of various cultures that...

, where he makes a distinction between the 'ideal' temperate climate of Greece as opposed to the overly cold climate of Scythia and the overly warm climate of Egypt. This was a common belief at the time, and can also be found within the medical writings of Herodotus' times, including the 'On Airs, Waters, Places' of the Hippocratic corpus. One can find a similar statement in Germania
Germania (book)
The Germania , written by Gaius Cornelius Tacitus around 98, is an ethnographic work on the Germanic tribes outside the Roman Empire.-Contents:...

by Tacitus
Tacitus
Publius Cornelius Tacitus was a senator and a historian of the Roman Empire. The surviving portions of his two major works—the Annals and the Histories—examine the reigns of the Roman Emperors Tiberius, Claudius, Nero and those who reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors...

, one of Montesquieu's favorite authors. However, the earlier works that most closely resemble Montesquieu's complex climate theory are the Muqaddimah
Muqaddimah
The Muqaddimah , also known as the Muqaddimah of Ibn Khaldun or the Prolegomena , is a book written by the Maghrebian Muslim historian Ibn Khaldun in 1377 which records an early view of universal history...

(1377) by the Arab sociologist, Ibn Khaldun
Ibn Khaldun
Ibn Khaldūn or Ibn Khaldoun was an Arab Tunisian historiographer and historian who is often viewed as one of the forerunners of modern historiography, sociology and economics...

, and The Travels of Sir John Chardin in Persia and the Orient (1711) by the French traveller Jean Chardin
Jean Chardin
Jean Chardin , born Jean-Baptiste Chardin, and also known as Sir John Chardin, was a French jeweller and traveller whose ten-volume book The Travels of Sir John Chardin is regarded as one of the finest works of early Western scholarship on Persia and the Near East.-Life and work:Chardin was born in...

.

From a sociological perspective Louis Althusser
Louis Althusser
Louis Pierre Althusser was a French Marxist philosopher. He was born in Algeria and studied at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, where he eventually became Professor of Philosophy....

, in his analysis of Montesquieu's revolution in method, alluded to the seminal character of anthropology's inclusion of material factors, such as climate, in the explanation of social dynamics and political forms. Examples of certain climatic and geographical factors giving rise to increasingly complex social systems include those that were conducive to the rise of agriculture and the domestication of wild plants and animals.

List of works

  • Les causes de l'écho (The Causes of an Echo)
  • Les glandes rénales (The Renal Glands)
  • La cause de la pesanteur des corps (The Cause of Gravity of Bodies)
  • La damnation éternelle des païens (The Eternal Damnation of the Pagans, 1711)
  • Système des Idées (System of Ideas, 1716)
  • Lettres persanes (Persian Letters, 1721)
  • Le Temple de Gnide (The Temple of Gnide, a novel; 1724)
  • Histoire véritable d'Arsace et Isménie ((The True History of) Arsace and Isménie, a novel; 1730)
  • Considérations sur les causes de la grandeur des Romains et de leur décadence (Considerations on the Causes of the Grandeur and Decadence of the Romans, 1734)
  • De l'esprit des lois ((On) The Spirit of the Laws, 1748)
  • La défense de «L'Esprit des lois» (In Defence of "The Spirit of the Laws", 1750)
  • Pensées suivies de Spicilège (Thoughts after Spicilège)
  • Essai sur le goût (1757)
  • Le flux et le reflux de la mer
  • Mémoires sur la fièvre intermittente
  • Mémoires sur l'écho
  • Les maladies des glandes rénales
  • La pesanteur des corps
  • Le mouvement relatif
  • Le Spicilège
  • Pensées

See also

  • Government of France
    Government of France
    The government of the French Republic is a semi-presidential system determined by the French Constitution of the fifth Republic. The nation declares itself to be an "indivisible, secular, democratic, and social Republic"...

  • Liberalism
    Liberalism
    Liberalism is the belief in the importance of liberty and equal rights. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally, liberals support ideas such as constitutionalism, liberal democracy, free and fair elections, human rights,...

  • List of liberal theorists
  • Napoleon I of France
    Napoleon I of France
    Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader during the latter stages of the French Revolution.As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815...

  • U.S. Constitution, influences

Further reading

  • Pangle, Thomas, Montesquieu’s Philosophy of Liberalism (Chicago: 1989 rpt.; 1973).
  • Person, James Jr., ed. “Montesquieu” (excerpts from chap. 8) in Literature Criticism from 1400 to 1800, (Gale Publishing: 1988), vol. 7, pp. 350–52.
  • Shackleton, Robert. Montesquieu; a Critical Biography. (Oxford: Clarendon Press of Oxford University Press, 1961).
  • Shklar, Judith. Montesquieu (Oxford Past Masters series). (Oxford and New York, Oxford University Press, 1989).
  • Schaub, Diana J. Erotic Liberalism: Women and Revolution in Montesquieu's 'Persian Letters'. (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1995).
  • Spurlin, Paul M. Montesquieu in America, 1760-1801 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1941; reprint, New York: Octagon Books, 1961).

External links

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