Biography of Montesquieu, brief summary of the life of the philosopher

Biography of Montesquieu, brief summary of the life of the philosopher

Charles Louis de Secondat, Baron de la Brède and de Montesquieu, was one of the most influential characters in terms of the political section of illustration.

He served as a philosopher, writer and politician during his life, but his true influence came in the liberal social movements that occurred after his death. Was the father of separation of powers and the theories that they are now the basis of any modern constitution.

Montesquieu was born on January 18, 1689 at the Château de la Brède, near Bordeaux (France), into a family of Bordeaux magistrates.

His parents admitted him to the Juilly Catholic Oratory College and, later, he continued with the family tradition to to study law. At this stage, he was at the University of Bordeaux and the University of Paris, where he came into contact with the Parisian intellectual circles.

In 1714, Montesquieu returned to Brède and there he was Chancellor of the Parliament of Bordeaux. Due to the death of his father, he was taken over by his uncle, the Baron de Montesquieu, from whom in 1716 he inherited his fortune, his titles and his position of president of the Bordeaux parliament.

Also at this time was named member of the Bordeaux Academy of Sciences, where he stood out for his reports on historical issues, such as his “Dissertation on the politics of the Romans”(1716), and scientists, with“The echo" Y "Kidney diseases” (1718).

The international and national political situation of those years was marked by the proclamation of a constitutional monarchy in Great Britain and by death of Louis XV. These events had a decisive influence on Montesquieu, who focused his analysis on the study of social phenomena.

Through the success of the “Persian letters”(1721), he managed to find a niche in the Parisian salons, which he frequented assiduously without ceasing to manage his family property or to write. This is how his book “The temple of Gnido”In 1725.

However, in 1726 he sold his position and, shortly after his election as member of the French Academy (1727), he undertook a journey through Austria, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, and Great Britain. His travel notes were collected in some notebooks that were published in 1899 under the title "My thoughts”.

These annotations, along with his reflections on the story, inspired his essay "Considerations on the causes of the greatness and decline of the Romans”(1734), which many consider the transition to his masterpiece in which he worked for fourteen years: “Law spirit” (1748).

This book had 22 editions in 2 years and provoked violent criticism, both from the Jesuits and from the Jansenists. The Sorbonne and the Catholic Church prohibited it and it was included in the Index of Prohibited Books.

The last years of his life were marred by almost total blindness. He could only write a novel with an oriental atmosphere, called "Arsace et Isméinie", And the article"Taste" for the encyclopedia from Diderot.

Although his relationship with the encyclopedists was good, remained quite distant and independent. Finally, on February 10, 1755, he died in Paris and was buried in the church of Sanit-Sulpice.

Montesquieu laid the foundations of the social and economic sciences and participated in the origin of liberal constitutional doctrines, which were based on their theory of separation of powers.

It greatly influenced the British colonies in America, especially the American War of Independence and the Constitution that they carried out there.

Passionate about History, he has a degree in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication. Since he was little he loved history and ended up exploring the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries above all.


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