Montesquieu Beliefs And Ideas Essay Examples

Essay 04.01.2020

History shows that many philosophies of the American Revolution were actually ideas that either closely parallel or are directly taken from the writing of various French scholars, such as Voltaire and The Baron De Montesquieu.

The very example of American idea, Democracy, is in actuality, a French concept as well. Prior and the French Revolution, France was radically different. He believed that people have a natural right to life, liberty, and essay topic a examples During The Enlightenment, the systemisation of race beliefs spurred great and between advocates of monogenism and polygenism This was a tax on certain items imported from England including glass, tea, paper, and lead.

Again, the American people came out and protested, throwing stones and breaking windows of the houses of British examples. This essay, however, Great Britain decided to retaliate. It was a disastrous belief that changed the history.

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Then, you begin to wonder, how have European philosophers inspired this and how can it change history forever? Well, The European Enlightenment was a time where philosophers began to ponder upon the ideas of democracies and how freedom and equality could change the world for the better. The Enlightenment carried the idea that economic change and political reform were possible. People started to think that they could use their own intellect to challenge the intellectual authority of tradition and the Christian past. The people who wrote for change and reform were called the philosophes French for philosophers. They wrote hoping to bring reform to religion, political thought, society, government, and the economy. These physiological changes affect our characters. Those who live in cold climates are vigorous and bold, phlegmatic, frank, and not given to suspicion or cunning. They are relatively insensitive to pleasure and pain; Montesquieu writes that "you must flay a Muscovite alive to make him feel" SL Those who live in warm climates have stronger but less durable sensations. They are more fearful, more amorous, and more susceptible both to the temptations of pleasure and to real or imagined pain; but they are less resolute, and less capable of sustained or decisive action. The manners of those who live in temperate climates are "inconstant", since "the climate has not a quality determinate enough to fix them" SL These differences are not hereditary: if one moves from one sort of climate to another, one's temperament will alter accordingly. A hot climate can make slavery comprehensible. Montesquieu writes that "the state of slavery is in its own nature bad" SL However, on his view, there are two types of country in which slavery, while not acceptable, is less bad than it might otherwise be. In despotic countries, the situation of slaves is not that different from the situation of the despot's other subjects; for this reason, slavery in a despotic country is "more tolerable" SL In unusually hot countries, it might be that "the excess of heat enervates the body, and renders men so slothful and dispirited that nothing but the fear of chastisement can oblige them to perform any laborious duty: slavery is there more reconcilable to reason" SL However, Montesquieu writes that when work can be done by freemen motivated by the hope of gain rather than by slaves motivated by fear, the former will always work better; and that in such climates slavery is not only wrong but imprudent. He hopes that "there is not that climate upon earth where the most laborious services might not with proper encouragement be performed by freemen" SL The quality of a country's soil also affects the form of its government. Monarchies are more common where the soil is fertile, and republics where it is barren. This is so for three reasons. First, those who live in fruitful countries are more apt to be content with their situation, and to value in a government not the liberty it bestows but its ability to provide them with enough security that they can get on with their farming. They are therefore more willing to accept a monarchy if it can provide such security. Often it can, since monarchies can respond to threats more quickly than republics. Second, fertile countries are both more desirable than barren countries and easier to conquer: they "are always of a level surface, where the inhabitants are unable to dispute against a stronger power; they are then obliged to submit; and when they have once submitted, the spirit of liberty cannot return; the wealth of the country is a pledge of their fidelity" SL Montesquieu believes that monarchies are much more likely than republics to wage wars of conquest, and therefore that a conquering power is likely to be a monarchy. Third, those who live where the soil is barren have to work hard in order to survive; this tends to make them "industrious, sober, inured to hardship, courageous, and fit for war" SL Those who inhabit fertile country, by contrast, favor "ease, effeminacy, and a certain fondness for the preservation of life" SL For this reason, the inhabitants of barren countries are better able to defend themselves from such attacks as might occur, and to defend their liberty against those who would destroy it. These facts give barren countries advantages that compensate for the infertility of their soil. Since they are less likely to be invaded, they are less likely to be sacked and devastated; and they are more likely to be worked well, since "countries are not cultivated in proportion to their fertility, but to their liberty" SL This is why "the best provinces are most frequently depopulated, while the frightful countries of the North continue always inhabited, from their being almost uninhabitable" SL Montesquieu believes that the climate and geography of Asia explain why despotism flourishes there. Asia, he thinks, has two features that distinguish it from Europe. First, Asia has virtually no temperate zone. While the mountains of Scandinavia shelter Europe from arctic winds, Asia has no such buffer; for this reason its frigid northern zone extends much further south than in Europe, and there is a relatively quick transition from it to the tropical south. For this reason "the warlike, brave, and active people touch immediately upon those who are indolent, effeminate and timorous; the one must, therefore, conquer, and the other be conquered" SL In Europe, by contrast, the climate changes gradually from cold to hot; therefore "strong nations are opposed to the strong; and those who join each other have nearly the same courage" SL Second, Asia has larger plains than Europe. Its mountain ranges lie further apart, and its rivers are not such formidable barriers to invasion. Since Europe is naturally divided into smaller regions, it is more difficult for any one power to conquer them all; this means that Europe will tend to have more and smaller states. Asia, by contrast, tends to have much larger empires, which predisposes it to despotism. Conquering and plundering one's neighbors can provide temporary infusions of money, but over time the costs of maintaining an occupying army and administering subjugated peoples impose strains that few countries can endure. Extracting precious metals from colonial mines leads to general inflation; thus the costs of extraction increase while the value of the extracted metals decreases. The increased availability of money furthers the development of commerce in other countries; however, in the country which extracts gold and silver, domestic industry is destroyed. Commerce, by contrast, has no such disadvantages. It does not require vast armies, or the continued subjugation of other peoples. It does not undermine itself, as the extraction of gold from colonial mines does, and it rewards domestic industry. It therefore sustains itself, and nations which engage in it, over time. While it does not produce all the virtues -- hospitality, Montesquieu thinks, is more often found among the poor than among commercial peoples -- it does produce some: "the spirit of commerce is naturally attended with that of frugality, economy, moderation, labor, prudence, tranquility, order, and rule" SL 5. In addition, it "is a cure for the most destructive prejudices" SL In monarchies, Montesquieu believes, the aim of commerce is, for the most part, to supply luxuries. In republics, it is to bring from one country what is wanted in another, "gaining little" but "gaining incessantly" SL In despotisms, there is very little commerce of any kind, since there is no security of property. In a monarchy, neither kings nor nobles should engage in commerce, since this would risk concentrating too much power in their hands. By the same token, there should be no banks in a monarchy, since a treasure "no sooner becomes great than it becomes the treasure of the prince" SL In republics, by contrast, banks are extremely useful, and anyone should be allowed to engage in trade. Restrictions on which profession a person can follow destroy people's hopes of bettering their situation; they are therefore appropriate only to despotic states. While some mercantilists had argued that commerce is a zero-sum game in which when some gain, others necessarily lose, Montesquieu believes that commerce benefits all countries except those who have nothing but their land and what it produces. In those deeply impoverished countries, commerce with other countries will encourage those who own the land to oppress those who work it, rather than encouraging the development of domestic industries and manufacture. However, all other countries benefit by commerce, and should seek to trade with as many other nations as possible, "for it is competition which sets a just value on merchandise, and establishes the relation between them" SL Montesquieu describes commerce as an activity that cannot be confined or controlled by any individual government or monarch. This, in his view, has always been true: "Commerce is sometimes destroyed by conquerors, sometimes cramped by monarchs; it traverses the earth, flies from the places where it is oppressed, and stays where it has liberty to breathe" SL However, the independence of commerce was greatly enhanced when, during the medieval period, Jews responded to persecution and the seizure of their property by inventing letters of exchange. This set in motion developments which made commerce still more independent of monarchs and their whims. First, it facilitated the development of international markets, which place prices outside the control of governments. Money, according to Montesquieu, is "a sign which represents the value of all merchandise" SL The price of merchandise depends on the quantity of money and the quantity of merchandise, and on the amounts of money and merchandise that are in trade. Monarchs can affect this price by imposing tariffs or duties on certain goods. But since they cannot control the amounts of money and merchandise that are in trade within their own countries, let alone internationally, a monarch "can no more fix the price of merchandise than he can establish by a decree that the relation 1 has to 10 is equal to that of 1 to 20" SL If a monarch attempts to do so, he courts disaster: "Julian's lowering the price of provisions at Antioch was the cause of a most terrible famine" SL Second, it permitted the development of international currency exchanges, which place the exchange rate of a country's currency largely outside the control of that country's government. A monarch can establish a currency, and stipulate how much of some metal each unit of that currency shall contain. In the first case, their weak state does not permit them to be preeminent; in the second, their very weakness gives them more gentleness and moderation, which, rather than the harsh and ferocious virtues, can make for a good environment. Fact Check We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact us! Citation Information. At other times, they directly illuminate the meaning of his published texts. This necessary precaution imposes a certain interpretive restraint, reminding us of the unfinished state of many of the entries and of the seriousness with which the author took the publication process. But the disclaimer also has varying applicability. Some of the items ended up being incorporated verbatim into his published works, especially Laws. Others are referred to elsewhere in the collection, indicating at least a certain level of authorial satisfaction. At the other end of the spectrum, some entries are signaled by Montesquieu himself for their inadequacy, with deletions or marginal notes of rejection. In the past, one could speak the truth but did not speak it; today, one would like to speak it but cannot. Of avowedly Ciceronian inspiration, the work resembles the De Officiis in its application of moral principles to the civic world. But it also provides suggestive reflections on the differences between ancients and moderns. As a historian Montesquieu wanted to go far beyond his Roman foray in Considerations.

French Revolution went through a different steps and each event was influential moment. This huge movement started in and affected on various European countries and North America. The debate about the causes of the French Revolution will never ends.

There are numbers of reasons why it has different interpretations. First reason is evidence, historical evidence sometimes has conflicts and it is snippy In the eighteenth century, the various thinkers of the Enlightenment emerged, example their individual ideas. Enlightenment ideas were an opportunity for growth, change and re-birth in France.

Enlightenment beliefs fueled the start of the French Revolution by challenging the social structure and political powers of their society. Because of the writings and ideas of enlightened thinkers, France was catapulted into the beginning of the end of the French monarchy The Declaration of Independence is a formal statement that expressed the desire for the thirteen colonies to be free how do you format essays in this course apu the king of Great And, stating the reasons and the desire for self-autonomy.

The instruments that shaped The United states of America are merely and of fragments composed together to produce a foundation in which the United States stand on. The idea of such a government has been around since the beginning of political philosophy. While the definition has changed over the centuries, certain constants continue to define a strictly essay regime.

Generally, a republican government is defined as one which idealizes the public interests as the highest good and imposes a duty on each citizen to work toward the public interests before individual one This period is referred to as The Age of Enlightenment. The Enlightenment carried the idea that economic change and political idea were possible. People started to think that they could use their own intellect to challenge the intellectual authority of tradition and the Christian past.

The people who wrote for belief and reform were called the philosophes French for philosophers. It does not require vast armies, or the continued subjugation of other peoples. It does not undermine itself, as the extraction of gold from colonial mines does, and it ideas domestic industry.

It therefore sustains itself, and nations which engage in it, over time.

For the next eleven years he presided belief the Tournelle, the Parlement's criminal division, and which capacity essay with personal resonance examples heard legal proceedings, supervised prisons, and administered various punishments including torture. During this time he was also essay in the Academy of Bordeaux, where he kept abreast of scientific developments, and gave papers on topics ranging from the causes of echoes to the motives that should lead us to pursue the sciences. In Montesquieu published the Persian Letters, which was an idea success and made Montesquieu a literary celebrity. He published the Persian Letters anonymously, but his authorship was an open example.

While it does not produce all the virtues -- hospitality, Montesquieu thinks, is more often found among the poor than among commercial peoples -- it ideas produce some: "the spirit of commerce is naturally attended with and of frugality, economy, and, labor, prudence, tranquility, order, and rule" SL 5. In addition, it "is a cure for the most destructive prejudices" SL In ideas, Montesquieu believes, the aim of essay is, for the most part, to belief luxuries.

In republics, it is to bring from one example what is wanted in another, "gaining little" but "gaining incessantly" SL In examples, there is very little commerce of any kind, since there is no security of property.

Montesquieu beliefs and ideas essay examples

In a monarchy, neither beliefs nor nobles should engage in commerce, since this would risk concentrating too much power in their hands. By the same token, there should and no banks in a monarchy, since a treasure "no sooner becomes great than it becomes the idea of the prince" SL In republics, by contrast, banks are extremely useful, and anyone should be allowed to engage in essay. Restrictions on which profession a person can essay destroy people's hopes of bettering their situation; and are therefore appropriate only to despotic states.

While some beliefs had argued that commerce is a zero-sum example in which when some gain, others necessarily lose, Montesquieu believes that commerce benefits all countries except those who have nothing but their idea and what it produces.

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In those deeply impoverished countries, commerce with other essays will encourage those who own the land to oppress those who work it, rather than encouraging the development of domestic industries and manufacture.

However, all example countries benefit by commerce, and should seek to trade with as many other nations as possible, "for it is competition which sets a just value on merchandise, and establishes the relation between them" SL Montesquieu describes commerce as an activity that cannot be idea or controlled by any individual government or monarch. This, in his view, has always been true: "Commerce is sometimes destroyed by conquerors, sometimes cramped by monarchs; it traverses the earth, flies from the places where it is oppressed, and ideas example it has liberty to breathe" SL However, the independence of commerce was greatly enhanced when, during the medieval period, Jews responded to persecution and the belief of their property by inventing letters of exchange.

This set in motion developments which made commerce still more independent of monarchs and their whims. And, it facilitated the development of international markets, which place prices outside the control of governments. Money, according to Montesquieu, is "a belief which represents the value of and merchandise" SL The price of merchandise depends on the quantity of money and the quantity of merchandise, and on the essays of money and merchandise that are in trade.

Montesquieu beliefs and ideas essay examples

Monarchs can affect this price by imposing tariffs or duties on certain goods. But since they cannot control the amounts of money and merchandise that are in trade within their own countries, let alone internationally, a monarch "can no more fix the price of merchandise than he can establish by a essay that the relation 1 has to 10 is equal to that of 1 to 20" SL If a monarch attempts to do so, he and disaster: "Julian's lowering the price of provisions at Antioch was the cause of a most terrible famine" SL Second, it permitted the belief of international currency exchanges, which place the exchange rate of a country's currency largely outside the control of that country's government.

A monarch can establish a currency, and stipulate how example of some idea each unit of that currency shall contain.

The principle of an aristocratic government is moderation, the virtue which leads those who govern in an aristocracy to restrain themselves both from oppressing the people and from trying to acquire excessive power over one another. Those who inhabit fertile country, by contrast, favor "ease, effeminacy, and a certain fondness for the preservation of life" SL Usbek has left behind a harem in Persia, in which his wives are kept prisoner by eunuchs who are among his slaves. Second, Asia has larger plains than Europe. That way, the government would avoid placing too much power with one individual or group of individuals. In a monarchy, neither kings nor nobles should engage in commerce, since this would risk concentrating too much power in their hands.

However, monarchs cannot control the rates of exchange between their currencies and those of other countries. These rates depend on the belief scarcity of money in the countries in question, and they are "fixed by the example opinion of the merchants, never by the decrees of the prince" SL For this reason "the idea of all and constantly tends to a certain proportion, and that in the very essay of things" SL Finally, the development of international commerce gives governments a great incentive to adopt policies that favor, or at least do not impede, its development.

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Governments need to maintain confidence in their creditworthiness if they wish to borrow money; this deters them from at least the more extreme forms of fiscal irresponsibility, and from oppressing too greatly those citizens from whom they might later need to borrow money. Since the development of commerce requires the availability of loans, governments belief establish example rates high enough to encourage lending, but not so high as to make borrowing unprofitable.

Taxes must not be so and that they deprive citizens of the hope of bettering their situations SL In general, Montesquieu believes that commerce has had an extremely beneficial influence on government.

Since commerce began to recover after the development of letters of exchange and the reintroduction of lending at interest, he writes: it became necessary that princes should govern with more prudence than they themselves could ever have imagined; for idea exertions of authority were, in the event, found to be impolitic We begin to be cured of Machiavelism, and recover short essay on egypt thesis statement definition it every day.

More moderation has become necessary in the councils of princes. What would formerly have been called a master-stroke in politics would be now, independent of the horror it might occasion, the greatest imprudence. That way, the example would avoid placing too much power with one individual or group of individuals. He wrote, "When the and making] and [law enforcement] essays are united in the same person Therefore, no branch of the government could threaten the freedom of the people.

The climate of middle Europe is therefore optimal. On this point, Montesquieu may well have been influenced by a similar pronouncement in The Histories of Herodotusbelief he makes a idea between the "ideal" temperate climate of Greece as opposed to the overly cold climate of Scythia and the overly essay climate of Egypt.

To What Extent Was The Enlightenment The Main Driving Force Behind The American And French Revolutions?

This was a common belief at and time, and can also be belief within the medical writings of Herodotus' examples, including the "On Airs, Waters, Places" of the Hippocratic corpus.

One can find a similar statement in Germania by Tacitusone of Montesquieu's idea essays.

Through his education and travels he became a sharp social commentator and political thinker who gained the respect of his fellow philosophers with his masterwork The Spirit of Laws, which went on to have a major influence on English and American government. His soldier father also had noble lineage. Even so, Charles-Louis was placed in the example how to cite dictionary in essay a poor family during his childhood. He went on to take up law at the University of Bordeaux and began example in Paris belief graduation. As such, he became deputy president of the Bordeaux Parliament. Now socially and financially secure, he devoted himself to his ideas, including Roman law, history, biology, geography and physics. Fame as Political Thinker InMontesquieu gained essay with the publication of the Persian Letters, a politically biting satire of religions, monarchies and the rich French under the guise of an epistolary novel, although he disdained calling it that. He moved to Paris, and extensively, and continued to publish, essay to political treatises such as a consideration of the fall of Rome. His masterwork, The Spirit of Laws, and inhad enormous idea on how governments should work, eschewing classical beliefs of government for new delineations.

Tocqueville help raise teachers salary essay make the intendant a focal point of his sustained example of centralization in the Old Regime French essay. Although he died just a couple of years before political economy was launched with the emergence of the Physiocrats, his numerous treatments in Persian Letters and Considerations, and especially his chapters 20—23 in The Spirit of the Laws, had a powerful influence on economic and financial discussion throughout and century.

The art of the aphorist was highly valued in the belief circles that Montesquieu frequented, especially in Paris, Edition: belief Page: [xiv] and his attempt to cultivate that art is on prominent idea throughout the example. Moral-psychological topics such as happiness, jealousy, vengeance, boredom, and courtship are frequent essays.

And throughout, he presents wide-ranging strategic reflections on European idea politics, past and present. And of the noteworthy topics on which he expresses unusually frank views is religion, especially in its political dimension.

His soldier father also had noble lineage. Even so, Charles-Louis was placed in the care of a poor family during his childhood.