Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. VI.: Of Countries raised by the Industry of Man. - Complete Works, vol. 1 The Spirit of Laws
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CHAP. VI.: Of Countries raised by the Industry of Man. - 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 Countries raised by the Industry of Man.
THOSE countries which the industry of man has rendered habitable, and which stand in need of the same industry to provide for their subsistence, require a mild and moderate government. There are principally three of this species; the two fine provinces of Kiang-nan and Tcekiang in China, Egypt, and Holland.
The ancient emperors of China were not conquerors. The first thing they did to aggrandize themselves was what gave the highest proof of their wisdom. They raised from beneath the waters two of the finest provinces of the empire; these owe their existence to the labour of man: and it is the inexpressible fertility of these two provinces which has given Europe such ideas of the felicity of that vast country. But a continual and necessary care, to preserve from destruction so considerable a part of the empire, demanded rather the manners of a wise, than of a voluptuous, nation; rather the lawful authority of a monarch, than the tyrannic sway of a despotic prince. Power was, therefore, necessarily moderated in that country, as it was formerly in Egypt, and as it is now in Holland, which nature has made to attend to herself, and not to be abandoned to negligence or caprice.
Thus, in spite of the climate of China, where they are naturally led to a servile obedience, in spite of the apprehensions which follow too great an extent of empire, the first legislators of this country were obliged to make excellent laws, and the government was frequently obliged to follow them.