Montesquieu's Contributions to the Enlightenment

800 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 …show more content…
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 cultures overall promoting peace. Promoting trade meant promoting the differences in the world to come together. Although with some countries he thought it might promote competition rather than coöperation and acceptance. Meaning they might take trading as a rivalry instead of a friendly gesture.

Secondly, he thought that the environment you lived in could affect your laws for certain things. For example; he thought that men in the tropics are lazier then men in tempered climates. Thinking that was why slavery was allowed in the