Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. V.: Of the Conquests of the Franks. - Complete Works, vol. 2 The Spirit of Laws
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CHAP. V.: Of the Conquests of the Franks. - Charles Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu, Complete Works, vol. 2 The Spirit of Laws 
The Complete Works of M. de Montesquieu (London: T. Evans, 1777), 4 vols. Vol. 2.
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Of the Conquests of the Franks.
IT is not true, that the Franks upon entering Gaul, took possession of the whole country to turn it into fiefs. Some have been of this opinion, because they saw the greatest part of the country towards the end of the second race, converted into fiefs, rear-fiefs, or other dependencies; but such a disposition was owing to particular causes, which we shall explain hereafter.
The consequence which sundry writers would infer from thence, that the Barbarians made a general regulation for establishing in all parts the state of villainage, is as false as the principle from which it is derived. If at a time when the fiefs were precarious, all the lands of the kingdom had been fiefs or dependencies of fiefs, and all the men in the kingdom vassals or bondmen, subordinate to vassals; as the person that has property is every possessed of power, the king who continually disposed of the fiefs, that is, of the only property then existing, would have been as arbitrary a monarch as the Grand Seignior; which is absolutely contradictory to all history.