Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the ideas of the French political philosopher (1689-1755) whose work on liberty and republicanism, banned at home, influenced the US constitution.
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the ideas of Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu (1689-1755) whose works on liberty, monarchism, despotism, republicanism and the separation of powers were devoured by intellectuals across Europe and New England in the eighteenth century, transforming political philosophy and influencing the American Constitution. He argued that an individual's liberty needed protection from the arm of power, checking that by another power; where judicial, executive and legislative power were concentrated in the hands of one figure, there could be no personal liberty.
Professor in the History of Political Thought at Queen Mary, University of London
Senior Lecturer in Intellectual History at Newcastle University
Professor of Modern History at the University of St Andrews and Director of the St Andrews Institute of Intellectual History
Producer: Simon Tillotson.
LINKS AND FURTHER READING
John Churton Collins, Voltaire, Montesquieu and Rousseau in England (first published 1886; Forgotten Books, 2018)
Mark Goldie and Robert Wokler (ed.), The Cambridge History of Eighteenth-Century Political Thought (Cambridge University Press, 2006), especially ‘The comparative study of regimes and societies’ by Melvyn Richter and ‘The spirit of nations’ by Sylvana Tomaselli
Montesquieu (trans. C. J. Betts), Persian Letters (first published 1973; Penguin, 1993)
Montesquieu (trans. David Lowenthal), Considerations on the Causes of the Greatness of the Romans and their Decline (first published 1965; Hackett, 1999)
Montesquieu (ed. Anne Cohler, Basia Miller and Harold Stone), The Spirit of the Laws (Cambridge University Press, 1989)
Melvyn Richter, The Political Theory of Montesquieu (Cambridge University Press, 1977)
Robert Shackleton, Montesquieu: A Critical Biography (Oxford University Press, 1961)
Judith N. Shklar, Montesquieu (Oxford University Press, 1987)
|Interviewed Guest||Richard Bourke|
|Interviewed Guest||Rachel Hammersley|
|Interviewed Guest||Richard Whatmore|