Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. IV.: Of the general Spirit of Mankind. - Complete Works, vol. 1 The Spirit of Laws
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CHAP. IV.: Of the general Spirit of Mankind. - 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 general Spirit of Mankind.
MANKIND are influenced by various causes; by the climate, by the religion, by the laws, by the maxims of government, by precedents, morals, and customs; from whence is formed a general spirit of nations.
In proportion as, in every country, any one of these causes acts with more force, the others, in the same degree, are weakened. Nature and the climate rule almost alone over the savages; customs govern the Chinese; the laws tyrannize in Japan; morals had formerly all their influence at Sparta; maxims of government and the ancient simplicity of manners once prevailed at Rome.