Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. V.: Of Education in a republican Government. - Complete Works, vol. 1 The Spirit of Laws
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CHAP. V.: Of Education in a republican Government. - 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 Education in a republican Government.
IT is in a republican government that the whole power of education is required. The fear of despotic governments naturally rises of itself amidst threats and punishments: the honour of monarchies is favoured by the passions, and favours them in its turn: but virtue is a self-renunciation, which is ever arduous and painful.
This virtue may be defined the love of the laws and of our country. As such love requires a constant preference of public to private interest, it is the source of all private virtues; for they are nothing more than this very preference itself.
This love is peculiar to democracies. In these alone the government is intrusted to private citizens. Now, government is like every thing else: to preserve it, we must love it.
Has it ever been heard that kings were not fond of monarchy, or that despotic princes hated arbitrary power?
Every thing, therefore, depends on establishing this love in a republic; and to inspire it ought to be the principal business of education: but the surest way of instilling it into children is for parents to set them an example.
People have it generally in their power to communicate their ideas to their children; but they are still better able to transfuse their passions.
If it happens otherwise, it is because the impressions made at home are effaced by those they have received abroad.
It is not the young people that degenerate: they are not spoilt till those of maturer age are already sunk into corruption.