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Who is Charles Luis Montesquieu
Charles Luis Montesquieu was a French social commentator and political thinker. He is famous for his articulation of the theory of separation of powers in public sector and thus influenced the form of toeday modern democratic states.

Charles Louis de Secondat, baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu

Charles Luis Montesquieu was born on January 18 1689 at the Château de La Brède in France and died on February 10, 1755 in Paris, France.

He studied at the Catholic college in Juilly and in 1715 he married Jeanne de Lartigue, a rich Protestant. In 1716 he inherited from his uncle, great wealth, including the title of Baron of Montesquieu. Both secured him financially so that he could devote only to his own interests. In 1726 he was elected member of the French Academy.

When visiting England, the atmosphere of democracy and religious tolerance greatly influenced him. His interests included, inter alia, political philosophy and reflections on the state. Inspired by John Locke and British experience, he criticized absolutism and came to the following concept of the separation of powers in the state - in the state there should be three kinds of mutually independent public powers that would counterbalance each other:

  • legislative power
  • executive power
  • judicial power

The division of power and mutual independence of individual components remain part of modern political philosophy and practical arrangement of modern democratic states today, and thus give the basic framework of arrangement of modern public sector.

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Last update: 03.12.2012


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