Montesquieu was born at the Château de la Brède in southwest France, 25 kilometres (16 mi) south of Bordeaux.  His father, Jacques de Secondat (1654–1713), was a soldier with a long noble ancestry, including descent from Richard de la Pole, Yorkist claimant to the English crown.
Montesquieu, French political philosopher whose principal work, The Spirit of Laws, was a major contribution to political theory. It inspired the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Constitution of the United States. Learn more about Montesquieu’s life and work.
Montesquieu was one of the great political philosophers of the Enlightenment. Insatiably curious and mordantly funny, he constructed a naturalistic account of the various forms of government, and of the causes that made them what they were and that advanced or constrained their development.
Montesquieu is a French political philosopher best known for championing liberty and a separation of powers between a government's executive, legislative, and judiciary. His views influenced the Founding Fathers of the United States.
Montesquieu - Enlightenment, Spirit, Laws: During his travels Montesquieu did not avoid the social pleasures that he had sought in Paris, but his serious ambitions were strengthened. He thought for a time of a diplomatic career but on his return to France decided to devote himself to literature.
The Spirit of Laws, principal work of the French political philosopher Montesquieu (in full Charles-Louis de Secondat, baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu) first published in 1748 as De L’Esprit des loix; ou, du rapport que les loix doivent avoir avec la constitution de chaque gouvernement, les moeurs, le climat, la religion, le commerce, etc.
French philosopher Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de la Brède et de Montesquieu, was a highly influential political thinker during the Age of Enlightenment. Updated: Aug 9, 2023 Getty Images...