Spirit of Laws

ISBN-10: 1573929492

ISBN-13: 9781573929493

Edition: 2002 (Unabridged)

List price: $17.99
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Description:

One of the most influential books of all time, this masterpiece of political philosophy was widely read throughout Europe, attracted an especially enthusiastic readership in England, and had a profound effect on the framers of the American Constitution. The scope of this masterful work is truly prodigious. Montesquieu explores the essentials of good government; compares and contrasts despotism, monarchy, and democracy; and discusses the factors that lead to corruption of governments. Among the many other topics considered are education of the citizenry, crime and punishment, abuse of power and of liberty, individual rights, taxation, slavery, the role of women, the influence of climate on the temper of a people and their form of government, commerce, religion, and a host of additional subjects. The Spirit of Laws is essential and genuinely enjoyable reading for anyone interested in the development of democracy.
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Book details

List price: $17.99
Copyright year: 2002
Publisher: Prometheus Books, Publishers
Publication date: 3/1/2002
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 700
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.50" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.694
Language: English

Charles de Secondat, Baron de la Brede et de Montesquieu, French philosopher and political theorist, is viewed variously as the most important precursor of sociology, as the father of modern historical research, and as the first modern political scientist. In The Persian Letters (1721), which was an immediate publishing success, he depicted France as seen by two imaginary Persians and thus demonstrated the possibility for objectivity that he demonstrated 27 years later in The Spirit of the Laws (1748), his masterpiece. On the surface, The Spirit is a treatise on law, but it also describes every domain affecting human behavior and raises questions of philosophical judgment about the merits of various kinds of legislation. It describes three types of government and their principles: Virtue is the principle of republics; honor, of monarchies; and fear, of despotism. With these "ideal types" as starting points, he proceeded to analyze legislation and the state in great detail. He made comparison the central method of his political science and thus directed the focus of inquiry from Europe to all societies in the world. His direct influence on the social sciences has been profound.

Montesquieu's Preface
Author's Explanatory Notes
Of Laws in General
Of Laws Directly Derived from the Nature of Government
Of the Principles of the Three Kinds of Government
That the Laws of Education Ought to Be in Relation to the Principles of Government
That the Law Given by the Legislator Ought to Be in Relation to the Principle of Government
Consequences of the Principles of Different Governments with Respect to the Simplicity of Civil and Criminal Laws, the Form of Judgments, and the Inflicting of Punishments
Consequences of the Different Principles of the Three Governments with Respect to Sumptuary Laws, Luxury, and the Condition of Women
Of the Corruption of the Principles of the Three Governments
Of Laws in the Relation They Bear to a Defensive Force
Of Laws in the Relation They Bear to Offensive Force
Of the Laws which Establish Political Liberty with Regard to the Constitution
Of the Laws that Form Political Liberty, in Relation to the Subject
Of the Relation which the Levying of Taxes and the Greatness of the Public Revenues Bear to Liberty
Of Laws in Relation to the Nature of the Climate
In What Manner the Laws of Civil Slavery Relate to the Nature of the Climate
How the Laws of Domestic Slavery Bear a Relation to the Nature of the Climate
How the Laws of Political Servitude Bear a Relation to the Nature of the Climate
Of Laws in the Relation They Bear to the Nature of the Soil
Of Laws in Relation to the Principles which Form the Spirit, the Morals, and Customs of a Nation
Of Laws in Relation to Commerce Considered in Its Nature and Distinctions
Of Laws in Relation to Commerce, Considered in the Revolutions It Has Met with in the World
Of Laws in Relation to the Use of Money
Of Laws in the Relation They Bear to the Number of Inhabitants
Of Laws in Relation to Religion Considered in Itself, and in Its Doctrines
Of Laws in Relation to the Establishment of Religion and Its External Polity
Of Laws in Relation to the Order of Things which They Determine
Of the Origin and Revolutions of the Roman Laws on Successions
Of the Origin and Revolution of the Civil Laws Among the French
Of the Manner of Composing Laws
Theory of the Feudal Laws Among the Franks in the Relation They Bear to the Establishment of the Monarchy
Theory of the Feudal Laws Among the Franks, in the Relation They Bear to the Revolutions of Their Monarchy
Index
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