Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. X.: Of the Corruption of the Principle of despotic Government. - Complete Works, vol. 1 The Spirit of Laws
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CHAP. X.: Of the Corruption of the Principle of despotic 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 the Corruption of the Principle of despotic Government.
THE principle of despotic government is subject to a continual corruption, because it is, even in its nature, corrupt. Other governments are destroyed by particular accidents, which do violence to the principles of each constitution; this is ruined by its own intrinsic imperfections, when some accidental causes do not prevent the corrupting of its principles. It maintains itself, therefore, only when circumstances, drawn from the climate, religion, situation, or genius of the people, oblige it to conform to order, and to admit of some rule. By these things its nature is forced, without being changed; its ferocity remains; and it is made tame and tractable only for a time.