Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. II.: Of the Principle of different Governments. - Complete Works, vol. 1 The Spirit of Laws
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CHAP. II.: Of the Principle of different Governments. - Charles Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu, Complete Works, vol. 1 The Spirit of Laws 
The Complete Works of M. de Montesquieu (London: T. Evans, 1777), 4 vols. Vol. 1.
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Of the Principle of different Governments.
I have already observed, that it is the nature of a republican government, that either the collective body of the people or particular families should be possessed of the supreme power: of a monarchy, that the prince should have this power, but, in the execution of it, should be directed by established laws: of a despotic government, that a single person should rule according to his own will and caprice. This enables me to discover their three principles, which are naturally derived from thence. I shall begin with a republican government, and in particular with that of democracy.