Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. XVII.: Of Female-Administration. - Complete Works, vol. 1 The Spirit of Laws
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CHAP. XVII.: Of Female-Administration. - 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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IT is contrary to reason and nature that women should reign in families, as was customary among the Ægyptians; but not that they should govern an empire. In the former case, the state of their natural weakness does not permit them to have the preeminence; in the latter, their very weakness generally gives them more lenity and moderation; qualifications fitter for a good administration than roughness and severity.
In the Indies they are very easy under a female government; and it is settled that, if the male issue be not of a mother of the same blood, the females born of a mother of the blood-royal must succeed† . And then they have a certain number of persons who assist them to bear the weight of the government. According to Mr. Smith,‡ they are very easy in Africa under a female administration. If, to this, we add the example of England and Russia, we shall find that they succeed alike both in moderate and despotic governments.
OF THE CORRUPTION OF THE PRINCIPLES OF THE THREE GOVERNMENTS.
[† ]Edifying Letters, 14th collection.
[‡ ]Voyage to Guinea, part the second, of the kingdom of Angola, on the Golden Coast.