Montesquieu was a famous French philosopher who was a contemporary of Voltaire and was the main driver of the French Revolution of 1789, whose ideas laid the foundation of a modern democracy throughout France. On the ideas of Montesquieu, the Presidential Federal – Democracy of America stands, in which this most important principle has been used, decentralization of power.
France produced one thinker throughout Europe in the 18th century, who changed the very interpretation of the state and made the most important contribution to the introduction of modern democracy in the world. Louis 14 and Louis 15 saw a lot of turmoil in France due to their monarchy and the influence of the ideas of Voltaire and Montesquieu is seen on the whole society.
We will see here what Montesquieu really thought and what effect he had on French society. After the independence of America, the world’s first written constitution was seen by the world, on which Montesquieu’s influence is seen. We will try to know in detail how his early life was and how he developed his ideas.
Montesquieu (1689 -1755) –
Born on January 19, 1689, into a wealthy family, Montesquieu was a lawyer by profession, and after his father’s death in 1713, he returned to his hometown of La Brede after completing his education, where he continued his studies while looking after his wealth. Were. In 1715 he married Jeanne de Lertigue, a Protestant Christian, with whom he had one boy and two girls.
In 1716 he was elected as a representative to the legal committee of the Parliament of Bordeaux, provided to him by his uncle, who was himself a well-known figure of the city, a position he held for the next eleven years. During this, he took over many law assignments and also continued his study of political philosophy. After his death, his property was also in the name of Montesquieu, due to which he has been very rich financially.
Montesquieu’s two studies were very famous, in which Persian Letters and The Spirit of Laws, this work remained very famous after his death and through his studies about what should be a political ideology for the world and how to build a state. placed in front of
Philosophy of Montesquieu –
His main work would be like the “state” and how many types of states are there, in which all the power is concentrated with one person or society in despotism and what are the ill-effects of it, he tells it. He studied Roman laws and history a lot.
From which he took this principle of decentralization of power and by developing it, in modern democracy, judiciary, executive, and legislature gave it equal accumulation of power. America accepted this principle for the first time in its constitution and today this principle is used in the constitution of almost all democratic countries.
In his equal period, there were philosophers like Voltaire, who used to write very intensely from him and used to taunt the monarchy. Two of his works became very famous, in which the Persian letter was very popular and the second book The Spirit of Law was very popular. He explains in a very detailed manner how power should be used in a democracy.
Persian Letters & Montesquieu –
Persian Letters This is a Montesquieu novel which shows the attitude of non-Western people towards Western countries. In this, the Persian Uzbek and his partner Rica arrive in France, leaving behind their five wives with their slaves. After coming to France, Montesquieu has depicted this very well, how he has the attitude of seeing everything. This novel has been very popular in western countries and in America.
In this novel, Montesquieu shows letters sent by Uzbeks and Rica to his country and what answers come from Persia and how he misrepresents the culture of France. Different situations have been depicted in this novel through letters. Rika says in a letter that the religious leader here dances like a magician to the king and he does as he wants.
The way the author describes it is unimaginable and shows a sort of flaw in French politics. Slowly and again, they start to understand the situation there and some things are beyond their understanding, which they describe through their letters. Through these letters, the author tries to show a statue of a virtual world about France by people of a different culture.
The Spirit of Law and Montesquieu –
This book was published for the first time in 1748, which is a book written about a political theory, which was influenced by the writing of the US Constitution, which is considered to be the world’s first written constitution. The British officer Macaulay was greatly influenced by his ideas and he studied these principles and he mentions these ideas of Montesquieu in his book Machavli.
In this book, the author writes about how the law and order should be for Montesquieu human beings and how it will affect the society. The author mentions how man has made foolish rules for the society and has misused it in history and tells how there is a need to change it. How the state should be created and why the power should be decentralized, Montesquieu explains while giving the admission of history.
Montesquieu tells about the checks and balances of power, where it is important to have a balance of power and how the executive, judiciary and legislature have to control each other. If any one of these powers becomes stronger than the other, then the balance of the entire state gets disturbed, so how to keep these three powers in balance is shown in this book.
Form of Government –
In this book, Montesquieu says that there are three types of state systems in which republic, despotism and monarchical, which he shows separately by analyzing. He says that the rights of citizens are very important in a republic state, on the basis of that it can be said that how to see whether it is a republic state or not? So it depends on the extent to which the rights of citizens are there.
It is said about monarchy and despotism that how much the rights of the ruler are limited by law, it depends on whether it is a monarchy or a dictator’s monarchy. If the concentration of excessive power is with one individual or a society, then Montesquieu is called despotism. He saw this in a monarchy where a right monarchy could be run by controlling the rights of the king by law. That was the period of the monarchy, at that time democracy was just beginning to develop.
In true sense, if the law and order system is running properly in the monarchy, yet its control is in the hands of the elite class of the society, then injustice starts happening to the people of the lower level of the society. Therefore, there has to be a balance of power. What should be the role of any form of government in the state, this author tells us through his principles.
Montesquieu and Liberty –
Montesquieu believed that the freedom of the individual to express his views should be considered very important in the state because at that time religion and the nobility dominated the society and nothing against religion was accepted. Therefore, Montesquieu was very passionate about personal liberty. Freedom does not mean to hurt anyone, it is only for his personal interest and people should not be hurt by your freedom, he believed in insistence.
Montesquieu believed that the laws of the state must be obeyed by the people, which are meant to protect the personal liberties of the people. For this, he studied more misuse of power in history and the power of knowing would have to be separated so that no one person or society could have accumulation of power.
For the security of the state and to establish law and order, we have to subjugate some of our rights to the state, in return we get many rights which we can use. Montesquieu believed that for the freedom of the individual, we have to provide some of our rights to the state, so that they use that right for the law and order and security of the state and protect your personal rights.
Montesquieu and India’s Democracy –
Montesquieu’s ideas have had an impact on the whole world, his theory of separation of power has been accepted by the republic and democratic system of the whole world in today’s date. For this, he did a lot of study and he got this theory in the Roman Empire, which he put in front of the world in the developed form in the 18th century.
That period was not of democracy and republic, but he had made a hypothesis about what the state would be like and till then the foundation of representative democracy was laid in Britain by keeping the polity nominal. That is why they felt that any dictatorial monarchy and a state with the influence of the elite class cannot do any good.
Therefore, by separating the three forces equally, they acted to keep a check on each other. This gun is seen in the Constitution of India and important institutions have been kept independent in our constitution and a lot of power has been given so that if any institution tries to become more powerful, then other institutions can keep a check on it. We get this idea from Montesquieu’s theories.
Montesquieu & Voltaire –
Montesquieu It has been contemporary with Voltaire, yet Montesquieu is considered a little senior, but the ideology of both has been of great importance in the social and political changes that took place in France. Voltaire was in England for a long time and he saw the parliamentary democracy there and he saw about the personal freedom of the people and he was very impressed by it, due to which he attacked the French monarchy.
The principles of the state that Montesquieu put before the world, democracy was not developed properly at that time and the representative state under the British polity had been formed by then, so Louis the 14th King has many questions about how the state should behave. All thoughts were written. Which had no effect on the king, he was exploiting the people along with a dictator and aristocracy.
Therefore, Montesquieu did a lot of study of the Roman Empire for this and how power should be divided into three parts, he put it in front of the world, which is called decentralization of power. Today this thing looks quite popular, but at that time he was a revolutionary idea, in which Montesquieu explains how the rights of the king can be reduced and how the centers of power should be divided.
In this way we have seen how most of the philosophical constructions took place in France, which played an important role in the French Revolution and political and social changes took place, which resulted in this change being seen in the whole of Europe. The modern democracy that we get to see today is the result of the hard work of these great thinkers who fought for the political and social change of France.
Montesquieu is the most important philosopher born in the 17th century, whose works Persian Letters and The Spirit of Laws are considered an important political and social heritage for the world. In this article, we have tried to introduce Montesquieu’s personal life and we have seen how his work has been important for the society despite being a resourceful family.
We saw that Voltaire, one of the world’s greatest economists and political philosophers, we have come to know how his ideas were important for the French society, being contemporary with the ideas of Montesquieu. With his thoughts, we have seen a new middle class being created in France, which later we got to see through France new ideas in front of the world about the importance of individualism and individual liberty.