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Rousseau and Montesquieu: The Impact of Their Ideas on Government.

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Presentation on theme: "Rousseau and Montesquieu: The Impact of Their Ideas on Government."— Presentation transcript:

1 Rousseau and Montesquieu: The Impact of Their Ideas on Government

2 Baron de Montesquieu (1689–1755) - The Spirit of the Laws Identified three types of governmental power Legislative, Executive, Judicial Separation of powers would keep any individual or group from gaining total control

3 Montesquieu – Separation of Powers Each branch would limit the power of the other branches to prevent absolute power Led to the theory of Checks and Balances Favored a constitutional monarchy based on the British model

4 Montesquieu – Impact of Ideas France and Latin American nations used separation of powers in their new constitutions. Separation of powers and checks and balances became the basis of the U.S. Constitution. Federal System of Government (national vs. state)

5 Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–1778) – The Social Contract Committed to individual freedom People were happiest when alone Believed society corrupted peoples natural goodness The only good government was one that was freely formed by the people.

6 Rousseau – On the Social Contract It would be guided by the general will or will of the majority The social contract was an agreement among free individuals to create a society and government People agree to give up their freedom for the common good

7 Rousseau – Compared to Locke Like Locke, he believed that legal government came from the consent of the people. Rousseau believed in a democracy with much more participation than Locke He argued that all people were equal and wanted to end titles of nobility

8 Rousseau – Impact of Ideas Ideas inspired many leaders of the French Revolution to overthrow the monarchy General will (direct democracy) would influence the U.S. Constitution Public election of president and Congress

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