Montesquieu's Contributions To The Enlightenment Essay

940 words - 4 pages

Many people living in The United States like to think that our founding fathers thought of the basic construction of our whole government system. They really did not; Charles-Louis Secondat, baron de Montesquieu thought of the system of checks and balances plus the three branches of government. The whole framework of our Constitution is based on what Montesquieu thought of during the enlightenment period. The purpose of the three branches is to make it where no one person or group of people is greater than the rest. Montesquieu wanted to make a government where the people had a say in what happened and there wasn't a single person in charge. The system of checks and balances was to reinforce what he was trying to do. Making it where one branch could stop another from making a bad choice for the country. This system of checks and balances mostly is there to stop one branch from abusing the other or from making decisions the people do not want.

Montesquieu argued that to protect the rights of the nation and the security of destruction from the law; self governing bodies must possess individual powers to slow down the natural tendencies of an absolute monarchy. Basically Montesquieu thought that in order to get out of an absolute monarchy and to govern yourself; you must protect the rights of your country and stop the destruction of your country from the law. He thought that human beings could solve society's problems by using their ability to reason. Montesquieu thought that people should take a direct part in their government and not follow what a king or dictator says. That the people living in the country should decide what laws they live by and what there freedoms are. He also thought that peoples ability to reason meant that they had the ability to be able to govern themselves completely.

Montesquieu thought of people as living beings with emotions; he was trying to get away from the conservative end of politics. While doing this he published his book Spirit of the Laws trying to explore how different legal systems worked. Although he was inclined to think humans were exactly the same everywhere he looked, he knew as a local judicial body that people all over the world are very different. He was painfully aware of the huge variation in local customs and laws. Although he knew people were different depending on where there culture and background was from; he knew that every body's mind could reason. From average republican arguments that laws had to fit to the standards attached to the kind of government for the people; Montesquieu had to add three arguments.

Firstly he said that the laws and customs of a country will depend upon the more demanding mode of the country. He felt that trade promoted country reliance's and increased tolerance of different...

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