Educated first at home and then in the village, he was sent away to school in
During this time he was also active in the Academy of Bordeaux, where he kept abreast of scientific developments, and gave papers on topics ranging from the causes of echoes to the motives that should lead us to pursue the sciences.
In Montesquieu published the Persian Letters, which was an instant success and made Montesquieu a literary celebrity. He published the Persian Letters anonymously, but his authorship was an open secret. He began to spend more time in Paris, where he frequented salons and acted on behalf of the Parlement and the Academy of Bordeaux.
During this period he wrote several minor works: In he sold his life interest in his office and resigned from the Parlement. After visiting Italy, Germany, Austria, and other countries, he went to England, where he lived for two years. He was greatly impressed with the English political system, and drew on his observations of it in his later work.
During this time he also wrote Considerations on the Causes of the Greatness of the Romans and of their Decline, which he published anonymously in In this book he tried to work out the application of his views to the particular case of Rome, and in so doing to discourage the use of Rome A biography of montesquieu a model for contemporary governments.
Parts of Considerations were incorporated into The Spirit of the Laws, which he published in Two years later he published a A biography of montesquieu of the Spirit of the Laws to answer his various critics. While these works share certain themes -- most notably a fascination with non-European societies and a horror of despotism -- they are quite different from one another, and will be treated separately.
The Persian Letters The Persian Letters is an epistolary novel consisting of letters sent to and from two fictional Persians, Usbek and Rica, who set out for Europe in and remain there at least untilwhen the novel ends. While Montesquieu was not the first writer to try to imagine how European culture might look to travellers from non-European countries, he used that device with particular brilliance.
Many of the letters are brief descriptions of scenes or characters. At first their humor derives mostly from the fact that Usbek and Rica misinterpret what they see.
Thus, for instance, Rica writes that the Pope is a magician who can "make the king believe that three are only one, or else that the bread one eats is not bread, or that the wine one drinks is not wine, and a thousand other things of the same kind" Letter 24 ; when Rica goes to the theater, he concludes that the spectators he sees in private boxes are actors enacting dramatic tableaux for the entertainment of the audience.
In later letters, Usbek and Rica no longer misinterpret what they see; however, they find the actions of Europeans no less incomprehensible. They describe people who are so consumed by vanity that they become ridiculous, scholars whose concern for the minutiae of texts blinds them to the world around them, and a scientist who nearly freezes to death because lighting a fire in his room would interfere with his attempt to obtain exact measurements of its temperature.
The best government, he says, is that "which attains its purpose with the least trouble", and "controls men in the manner best adapted to their inclinations and desires" Letter He notes that the French are moved by a love of honor to obey their king, and quotes approvingly the claim that this "makes a Frenchman, willingly and with pleasure, do things that your Sultan can only get out of his subjects by ceaseless exhortation with rewards and punishments" Letter While he is vividly aware of the importance of just laws, he regards legal reform as a dangerous task to be attempted "only in fear and trembling" Letter He favors religious toleration, and regards attempts to compel religious belief as both unwise and inhumane.
In these reflections Usbek seems to be a thoughtful and enlightened observer with a deep commitment to justice. However, one of the great themes of the Persian Letters is the virtual impossibility of self-knowledge, and Usbek is its most fully realized illustration.
Usbek has left behind a harem in Persia, in which his wives are kept prisoner by eunuchs who are among his slaves. Both his wives and his slaves can be beaten, mutilated, or killed at his command, as can any outsider unfortunate enough to lay eyes on them.Montesquieu, in full Charles-Louis de Secondat, baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu, (born January 18, , Château La Brède, near Bordeaux, France—died February 10, , Paris), French political philosopher whose principal work, The Spirit of Laws, was a major contribution to political theory.
Montesquieu is among the greatest philosophers of liberalism, but his is what Shklar has called "a liberalism of fear" (Shklar, Montesquieu, p. 89).
According to Montesquieu, political liberty is "a tranquillity of mind arising from the opinion each person has of his safety" (SL ). Baron de Montesquieu was a French author, political commentator, philosopher, jurist and social commentator.
He is widely regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of the late 17th and 18th centuries, whose political ideologies have influenced people all over the grupobittia.com: Jeanne de Lartigue. Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède and de Montesquieu, was born in the Aquitaine region of France on January 18, , during the Age of grupobittia.com: Jan 18, Montesquieu facts: The French jurist, satirist, and political and social philosopher Charles Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu (), was the first of the great French men of letters associated with the Enlightenment.
In order to underst. Montesquieu believed that a government that was elected by the people was the best form of government. He did, however, believe that the success of a democracy - a government in which the people have the power - depended upon maintaining the right balance of power.