Title page from Complete Works, vol. 2 The Spirit of Laws

Part of: Complete Works, 4 vols. (1777) Complete Works, vol. 2 The Spirit of Laws

This is volume 2 from the Complete Works. The Spirit of Laws is Montesquieu’s best known work in which he reflects on the influence of climate on society, the separation of political powers, and the need for checks on a powerful executive office.

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Commerce is a cure for the most destructive prejudices; for it is almost a general rule, that whereever we find agreeable manners, there commerce flourishes; and that wherever there is commerce, there we meet with agreeable manners. Let us not be astonished, then, if our manners are now less savage…

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