Charles de Montesquieu


1689 - 1755
Charles-Louis de Secondat, baron de La Brede et de Montesquieu, one of the great French political philosophers of the Enlightenment. He achieved literary success with the publication of his Lettres persanes (Persian Letters, 1721), a satire based on the imaginary correspondence of an Oriental visitor to Paris, pointing out the absurdities of contemporary society. His major work The Spirit of Laws (1750), contained an original classification of governments by their manner of conducting policy, an argument for the separation of the legislative, judicial and executive powers, and a celebrated but less influential theory of the political influence of climate. The work profoundly influenced European and American political thought and was relied on by the framers of the U.S. Constitution.

Aphorisms of the author