2Important facts Real name : Charles-Louis de Secondat/ born in 1689 Attended a Catholic school and became a lawyerInherited his title from his uncleWrote a book called Persian Letters that criticized French society using humor (satire)
3The Spirit Of Laws Montesquieu’s most famous book Described his theory of governmentand how it should be organizedBelieved that dividing power between three branches of government was the best way to protect political libertyCalled this concept ‘separation of powers”
4Quotes from Montesquieu “A nation may lose its liberties in a day and not miss them in a century.”“The tyranny of a prince in an oligarchy is not so dangerous to the public welfare as the apathy of a citizen in a democracy.”“Were the executive power not to have a right of restraining the encroachments of the legislative body, the latter would become despotic; for as it might arrogate to itself what authority it pleased, it would soon destroy all the other powers.”
5Separation of power Legislative branch makes the laws. Executive branch enforces the laws.Judicial branch interpreted the laws. (Told what they mean.)No branch would be too powerful.Montesquieu admired the English government.
6Separation of powersParliament made the laws, the king enforced them and the courts interpreted them.Each branch of government checked, or limited, the power of the others.If power was not divided this way, people would lose liberty quickly.Too much power for any one person is called despotism.
7Why Montesquieu Is important His ideas were a powerful influence on later thinkers.The U.S. Constitution reflects many of his ideas.Separation of powers is an important idea in our American system of government.