What ideas of Montesquieu are included in the constitution of the United States?
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- 1 decade agoFavorite Answer
Expanding on Locke in The Spirit of Laws, Montesquieu added the judiciary to Locke's executive and legislature. He admired the English system, and wrote of the separation of powers.
Montesquieu wrote of the three forms of government he recognized: "republican, monarchial, and despotic." He further divided republican government into democracy and aristocracy. He wrote of pure democracy, but quickly dismisses this as folly. He also discounted bodies that advised a monarch, unless the body is chosen by the people. Montesquieu noted that in a republic, education is an absolute necessity. He noted the point of education in the three forms: "in monarchies they will have honour for their object; in republics, virtue; in despotic governments, fear." He felt that democracies are corrupted, and devolve to despotism or monarchy, when the feeling of equality and fairness evaporate. In this way, a fair and objective judiciary is essential to the health of a democracy.
Montesquieu advocated constitutionalism, the preservation of civil liberties, the abolition of slavery, gradualism, moderation, peace, internationalism, social and economic justice with due respect to national and local tradition. He believed in justice and the rule of law; detested all forms of extremism and fanaticism; put his faith in the balance of power and the division of authority as a weapon against despotic rule by individuals or groups or majorities; and approved of social equality, but not the point which it threatened individual liberty; and out of liberty, but not to the point where it threatened to disrupt orderly government.