Synopses & Reviews
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.
This is the first complete, scholarly English-language edition of "The Spirit of the Laws" since 1750. It is one of the central texts in the history of 18th-century thought and this annotated edition focuses attention on Montesquieu's use of sources and his text as a whole.
Table of Contents
Introduction; Principal events in Montesquieuâs life; Bibliographical note; translatorâs preface; List of abbreviations; Authorâs foreword; Preface; Part I: 1. On laws in general; 2. On laws deriving directly from the nature of the government; 3. On the principles of the three governments; 4. That the laws of education should be relative to the principles of the government; 5. That the laws given by the legislator should be relative to the principles of the various governments in relation to the simplicity of civil and criminal laws, the form of judgments, and the establishment of penalties; 7. Consequences of the different principles of the three governments in relation to sumptuary laws, luxury, and the condition of women; 8. On the corruption of the principles of the three governments; Part II: 9. On the laws in their relation with defensive force; 10. On laws in their relation with offensive force; 11. On the laws that form political liberty in its relation with the constitution; 12. On the laws that form political liberty in relation to the citizen; 13. On the relations that the levy of taxes and the size of public revenues have with liberty; Part III: 14. On the laws in their relation to the nature of the climate; 15. How the laws of civil slavery are related with the nature of the climate; 16. How the laws of domestic slavery are related to the nature of the climate; 17. How the laws of political servitude are related to the nature of the climate; 18. On the laws in their relation with the nature of the terrain; 19. On the laws in their relation with the principles forming the general spirit, the mores, and the manners of a nation; Part IV: 20. On the laws in their relation to commerce, considered in its nature and its distinctions; 21. On laws in their relation to commerce, considered in the revolutions it has had in the world; 22. On laws in their relation to the use of money; 23. On laws in their relation to the number of inhabitants; 24. On the laws in their relation to the religion established in each country, examined in respect to its practices and within itself; 25. On the laws in their relation with the establishment of the religion of each country, and of its external police; 26. On the laws in the relation they should have with the order of things upon which they are to enact; Part VI: 27. On the origin and revolutions of the Roman laws on inheritance; 28. On the origin and revolutions of the civil laws among the French; 29. On the way to compose the laws; 30. The theory of the feudal laws among the Franks in their relation with the establishment of the monarchy; 31. The theory of the feudal laws among the Franks in their relation to the revolution of their monarchy; Bibliography; Index of names and plates.