“The spirit of moderation should also be the spirit of the lawgiver” (Doc 4B).
Baron de Montesquieu
"Man was born free, and everywhere he is in chains" (Doc 6B).
Backround: Charles-Louis de Secondat was born in France in 1689. He was born into a wealthy family and inherited the family money when his uncle died in 1716. He was a lawyer. His personality made people think he was not a serious thinker, but that changed with his achievements later in his life. (Doc 4B)
Achievements: Montesquieu was concerned with how to protect liberal rights. He created the idea of separation of powers, where each branch of government gets an equal amount of power, so no branch becomes too powerful. Seperation of powers is now a big part in our government. (Doc 4B)
Published Works: Montesquieu was known for his book published in 1792, Persian Letters. It used humor to criticize the French institutions. It quickly sold and became very popular. (Doc 4B)
Published Works: Rousseau referred to how nondemocratic governments in Europe had corrupted people in his book The Social Contract. He believed that even a representative democracy was corrupt.
Achievements: Rousseau believed people can be both ruled and free if they rule themselves. He created a "social contract" in which people have direct say in the way their society is governed. He Believed male adults should help make laws in assemblies, and those who administer or carry out the laws (presidents, prime ministers) can be elected representatives of the people (Doc 6B).
Backround: Jean-Jacques Rousseau was born Geneva in 1712. His mother died when he was 13, and his father, was forced out of Geneva. Rousseau was forced to serve as an apprentice to a cruel engraver. Rousseau left to escape the Swiss capital at the age of 16 and wandered Europe. He met wealthy people and they took him into their house to study philosophy. He moved to Paris at age 30. He died in 1778 (Doc 6B).