SECTION. 2. continued The Philosophes Advocate Reason. Montesquieu and the Separation of Powers • Montesquieu —French writer who admires Britain’s government system • Favors separation of powers to keep one body from running government. Rousseau: Champion of Freedom
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continued The Philosophes Advocate Reason
Montesquieu and the Separation of Powers
• Montesquieu—French writer who admires Britain’s
• Favors separation of powers to keep one body from
Rousseau: Champion of Freedom
• Rousseau—philosophe who favors individual
freedom, direct democracy
• Views social contract as agreement by free people
to form government
Beccaria Promotes Criminal Justice
• Italian philosopher Cesare Beccaria works to reform
• Calls for speedy trials, greater rights for criminal
● Monarchies: ruled by a king/queen guided by honor
● Republics: ruled by elected officials guided by virtue
● Despotisms: ruled by absolute dictators guided by fear
Believed strongly in personal liberties.
Developed the idea of separation of power between 3 branches of government.
The early version of “Checks and Balances”.
"In republican governments, men are all equal; equal they are also in despotic governments: in the former, because they are everything; in the latter, because they are nothing." (On the Spirit of Laws (1748))
example of government:
the judges of the English courts (interpreted laws)
He was very concerned about the relationship between religion and violence; “I can assure you that no kingdom has ever had as many evil wars as the kingdom of Christ.”
In order to love and conform to one’s religion it is not necessary to hate and persecute those who do not conform to it.”
He believed in Deism and a secular morality that is tolerant of many different religions
Attacked religious fanaticism and extremism
Montesquieu criticized the life-style and liberties of the French nobility and Catholic Church.
He condemned slavery; felt all MEN were equal.
Women were weaker than men and that they had to obey the commands of their husband.
He felt that the gentler nature of women could make them valuable decision-makers in government and balance out the aggressive nature of men.
Not wealthy by birth or classically trained he is the peoples philosopher arguing the need for a social contract to control the government
It is a corrupt society which corrupts the people.
A social contract stressing equality of all is essential.Jean Jacques Rousseau 1712-1788
Committed to individual freedom.
Also believed in a Social Contract between citizens and the government, in which a govt. chosen by the people is guided by the will of the people.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau peoples philosopher arguing the need for a social contract to control the government (1712-1778)
The Social Contract (1762)
The Social Contract, peoples philosopher arguing the need for a social contract to control the government1762
How could this fraudulent contract of government be made legitimate?
“Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains. One thinks himself master of others, and still remains a greater slave than they. How did this change come about? I do not know. What can make it legitimate? That question I think I can answer.”
“The General Will”
Jean-Jacques Rousseau peoples philosopher arguing the need for a social contract to control the government
The Nature of the Social Compact
“The problem is to find a form of association which will defend and protect with the whole common force the person and goods of each associate, and in which each, while uniting himself with all, may still obey himself alone, and remain as free as before. This is the fundamental problem of which the social contract provides the solution.” (Kramnick, p, 432)
“Each of us puts his person and all his power in common under the supreme direction of the general will, and, in our corporate capacity, we receive each member as an indivisible part of the whole.” (Kramnick, p, 433)
“The General Will”
Jean-Jacques Rousseau1712-1778 peoples philosopher arguing the need for a social contract to control the government
Discourse on the Origins of Inequality, 1755
Second Discourse (Prize Essay for the Academy of Dijon)
“What is the origin of inequality among men, and is it authorized by natural law?“
“All ran headlong to their chains, in hopes of securing their liberty; for they had just wit enough to perceive the advantages of political institutions, without experience enough to enable them to foresee the dangers.”
Man is naturally good…in the state of nature.
Property and greed create distinctions and create the need for the state and law
“Man is born free, yet everywhere he is in chains.” peoples philosopher arguing the need for a social contract to control the government
What are examples of things that are enslaving us…what aspects of society according to Rousseau?
Give historical and current examples!
Type of Government peoples philosopher arguing the need for a social contract to control the government
• Constitutional monarchy
• Distrusted democracy
• Propagated the idiocy of the
• He “would rather obey 1
lion then 200 rats of his
• (Direct) Democracy
• Grew up in Switzerland
where adult males had
direct vote in a small
• Distrusted representative
• “any law which the people
has not ratified in person, is
Perfect Society peoples philosopher arguing the need for a social contract to control the government
• People must work to
make society better
• “Everything happens
for the better” is not
• People must work to
• If people lived alone
on island, society
would be perfect
• Government makes a
society less perfect
Outlook on Life
• People too optimistic
• People intolerant of
• People foolish
• People want power
• People born good and
• People who are strong