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The Spirit of the Laws by Charles de…
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The Spirit of the Laws (1748)

by Charles de Secondat Montesquieu

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Epigraph
Prolem sine matre creatum
OVID,Metamorphoses 2.553

[an offspring created without a mother]
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Laws, taken in the broadest meaning, are the necessary relations deriving from the nature of things; and in this sense, all beings have their laws: the divinity has its laws, the material world has its laws, the intelligences superior to man have their laws, the beasts have their laws, man has his laws.
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Do not combine with abridged versions (e.g. 'The spirit of the laws: a compendium of the first English edition') or with partial editions (volume 1, volume 2, etc.). Partial and abridged editions are in the process of being separated out.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0521369746, Paperback)

The Spirit of the Laws is without question one of the central texts in the history of eighteenth-century thought, yet there has been no complete scholarly English language edition since 1750. This lucid translation renders Montesquieu's problematic text newly accessible to a fresh generation of students, helping them to understand why Montesquieu was such an important figure in the early enlightenment and why The Spirit of the Laws was such an influence on those who framed the American Constitution. Fully annotated, this edition focuses on Montesquieu's use of sources and his text as a whole, rather than on those opening passages toward which critical energies have traditionally been devoted.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:57:15 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Originally published in 1748, this is possibly the most masterful and influential book ever written on the subject of liberty and justice. Accordingly, it is a work that profoundly influenced America's Founding Fathers. Its success was due partly to the fact that it was the first systematic treatise on politics, partly to Montesquieu's championship of the nobility and the Parlements, but above all, to the brilliant style of his prose. By the ?spirit of the laws,? Montesquieu means their raison d'etre and the conditions determining their origin, development, and forms. Montesquieu discusses numerous topics, including the general functions of government, relations between the sexes, the morals and customs of the nation, economics and religion, and the theory of law and legislative practice.… (more)

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