Professor Troy Crowder
1 October 2014
Montesquieu; The Foundation of Separate Powers
While examining Montesquieu’s “Spirit of Laws”, it makes a big impression on the separation of powers. To basically sum up, Montesquieu believed that there are three different kinds of governments in which they must be divided. There is the republic, monarchical, and despotic. Republic, or ruled by elected leaders, is, “that in which the body or only a part of the people is possessed of the supreme power” (93). Monarch, ruled by a king or queen, is, “that in which a single person governs but by fixed and established laws”(93). Lastly, despotic, ruled by the noble of wealthy class, is a, “government that in which a single person directs everything by his own will and caprice”(93). There are many aspects to the three different types of governments that Montesquieu wrote about which include topics on, suffrage, the status of women, and the corruption of certain powers such as monarchy and democracy. Montesquieu’s ideas were studied around the world in this early-modern period of time. To put it into context, the ideas brought up during this period of time created a major impact on the way countries ran their government in later times.
According to Montesquieu, “There can be no sovereign but by suffrages, which are in their own will; and the sovereign's will is the sovereign himself”(93). With these ideas, it can be seen as the beginning of an era of democracy even though Montesquieu himself did not seem to believe in only one system. The idea that was brought up to vote for a monarch, or higher being, was for the benefit of the people, not for the benefit of the monarch himself. In this time period in which Montesquieu lived in, there were a lot of monarchs around the countries, which were ruling for their own benefit.