A Commentary and Review of Montesquieu’s ’Spirit of Laws’
One of two books by the French liberal Destutt de Tracy which were translated and published by Thomas Jefferson.
A Commentary and Review of Montesquieu’s ’Spirit of Laws’: To which are annexed, Observations on the Thirty First Book by the late M. Condorcet; and Two Letters of Helvetius, on the Merits of the same Work, trans. Thomas Jefferson (Philadelphia: William Duane, 1811).
The text is in the public domain.
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Table of Contents
- The Author,
- To his fellow citizens of the United States of America.
- A COMMENTARY AND REVIEW OF THE SPIRIT OF LAWS
- Preliminary Observations
- Book I: Of Laws in General
- Book II: Of Laws Originating Directly from the Nature of the Government.
- Book III: Of the Principles of the Three Forms of Government.
- Book IV: The Laws Relating To Education, Should Be Congenial with the Principles of the Government.
- Book V: Laws Formed by the Legislature Should Be Consistent with the Principles of the Government.
- Book VI: Consequences of the Principles of Different Governments, in Relation to the Simplicity of Civil and Criminal Laws, the Forms of Juridical Proceedings, and the Apportionment of Punishments.
- Book VII: Consequences of the Different Principles of the Three Forms of Government, Relative to Sumptuary Laws, to Luxury, and to the Condition of Women.
- Book VIII: Of the Corruption of the Principle in Each of the Three Forms of Government.
- Book IX: Of Laws Relative to the Defensive Force.
- Book X: Of Laws Relative to the Offensive Force.
- Book XI: Of the Laws Which Establish Public Liberty, In Relation to the Constitution.
- Chap. I: Is the Problem Solved, As To the Best Means of Distributing the Power of Society, So As to Be Most Favorable to Liberty?
- Book XI
- Chap. II: How Can the Proposed Problem Be Solved?
- Book XII: Of Laws That Establish Political Liberty in Relation to the Citizen.
- A REVIEW.
- On the Twelve First Books of the Spirit of Laws.
- Book XIII: Of the Relation Which Taxes, and the Amount of the Public Revenue, Have to Public Liberty.
- Book XIV: Of Laws in Relation to Climate.
- Book XV The Manner in which the Laws of Civil Slavery Relate to the Climate.
- Book XVI How the Laws of Domestic Slavery Relate to the Climate.
- Book XVII How the Laws of Political Servitude Relate to the Climate.
- Book XVIII: Of Laws in Relation to the Nature of the Soil.
- Book XIX: Of Laws in Relation to the Principles which Form the General Dispositions, Morals, and Manners of a Nation.
- Book XX: Of Laws in Relation to Commerce, Considered in Its Nature and Different Forms.
- Book XXI Of Laws in Relation to Commerce, Considered with Reference to the Revolutions It Has Undergone.
- Book XXII: Of Laws in Relation to the Use of Money.
- Book XXIII: Of Laws in Relation to Population
- Book XXIV: Of Laws in Relation to a Religious Establishment, Its Practical Operation, and Doctrines.
- Book XXV Of Laws in Relation to a Religions Establishment, and Its Effects on External Policy.
- Book XXVI: Of Laws in Relation to the Nature of Things upon which They Decide.
- Book XXVII: Of the Origin and Revolutions of the Roman Laws on Succession.
- Book XXVIII Of the Origin and Revolutions of Civil Law among the Franks.
- Book XXIX: Of the Manner in which Laws Should Be Composed.
- Book XXX: Theory of the Feudal Laws among the Franks, Relative to the Establishment of Monarchy.
- Book XXXI Theory of Feudal Laws, Relative to the Revolutions of Monarchy.
- OBSERVATIONS on the Twenty-Ninth Book of the Spirit of Laws, by M. Condorcet BY M CONDORCET
- Book XXIX.: On the Manner of Forming Laws.
- Chap. I.... Of the spirit of the legislator.
- Chap. II.... Continuation of the same subject.
- Chap. III.... That laws which appear to deviate from the intentions of the legislator, are often conformable thereto.
- Chap. IV.... Of laws which clash with the views of the legislator.
- Chap. V.... Continuation of the sane subject.
- Chap. VI.... Laws which appear to be the same have not uniformly the same effect.
- Chap. VII.... Continuation of the same subject. The necessity of composing laws in a proper manner.
- Chap. VIII.... Laws which appear the same have not always been established on the same motives.
- Chap. IX.... The Greek and Roman laws punished suicide from different motives.
- Chap. X.... Laws which appear contradictory, sometimes originate in the same spirit.
- Chap. XI.... How shall we be able to compare and judge between two laws.
- Chap. XII.... Laws which appear the same, are sometimes really different.
- Chap. XIII.... We should not separate the laws from the purposes for which they were established: of the Roman laws against theft.
- Chap. XIV.... Laws should not be separated from the circumstances in which they were established.
- Chap. XV.... It is sometimes proper that the law shall correct itself.
- Chap. XVI.... Matters to be observed in composing laws.
- Chap. XVII.... Bad manner of enacting laws.
- Chap. XVIII.... Of ideas of uniformity.
- Chap. XIX.... Of legislators.
- Letters of Helvetius, Addressed to President Montesquieu and M. Saurin, on Perusing the Manuscript of The Spirit of Laws
- Letter I.: Letter of Helvetius to President Montesquieu
- Letter II.: Helvetius to A. M. Saurin.