Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. IV.: Particular Cause of the Corruption of the People. - Complete Works, vol. 1 The Spirit of Laws
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
CHAP. IV.: Particular Cause of the Corruption of the People. - 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.
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
Particular Cause of the Corruption of the People.
GREAT success, especially when chiefly owing to the people, intoxicates them to such a degree that it is impossible to contain them within bounds. Jealous of their magistrates, they soon become jealous likewise of the magistracy; enemies to those who govern, they soon prove enemies also to the constitution. Thus it was that the victory over the Persians, in the straits of Salamis, corrupted the republic of Athens‡ ; and thus the defeat of the Athenians ruined the republic of Syracuse∥ .
Marseilles never experienced those great transitions from lowness to grandeur; this was owing to the prudent conduct of that republic, who always preserved her principles.
[‡ ]Aristot. Polit. lib. 5. cap. 4.