Charles-Louis de Secondat, baron de La Brede et de Montesquieu, or more commonly referred to as Montesquieu was a French political philosopher who was born on January 18, 1689 during the Age of Enlightenment. Montesquieu’s family was one of great wealth due to his father belonging to a military family that served the king and his mother who owned the wine producing company known as La Brede.
During his youth Montesquieu’s mother died and the title of barony was passed on to him since he was the eldest child. Shortly after this he was sent away to the College of Juilly after he had been previously schooled at home and in his village. Moving on from the College of Juilly he traveled to the University of Bordeaux to complete his studies of law. In 1705 he successfully graduated and then moved to Paris to get experience in the field. He returned to Bordeaux in 1713 however because of the death of his father. Two years after this tragic event Montesquieu married Jeanne de Lartigue. Together they would have two daughters and a son.
Shortly after the death of his father, his uncle also passed away. With this event transpiring Montesquieu now possessed both a barony title and a job as the deputy president in the Parliament of Bordeaux. With some stability in his life he now turned his focus to educating himself more on the sciences.
Following his study of the sciences Montesquieu published the “Persian Letters” in 1922. This work criticized many things including but not limited to Louis XIV’s reign, Thomas Hobbes’ theories, and the doctrine of Roman Catholicism. What made Montesquieu famous however was his work entitled “L’Esprit des lois” which contains his theories on government. The most famous of his three theories is his description and idea of the separation of powers. In this theory he suggested that the political power be divided between three branches which would be titled the Legislative, Judicial, and Executive powers. This idea of separate powers would later influence the writing of the onstitution of the United States
In his later years Montesquieu would cease to write about government and focus on helping young and unestablished writers. He died on February 10, 1755 after having written his last work “Essai sur le gout” or Essay on Taste which was completed 25 years before his death.
Sources: Biographical information located on October 5th 2015 at