Unit 2 assessment - Choose any philosopher from the...

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Choose any philosopher from the Enlightenment and explain how his/her ideas are used today. As part of the answer, introduce any major writings or publications . One of the most influential political writers of the Enlightenment was Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron De Montesquieu (1689-1755). Montesquieu was a "philosophe" during the Enlightenment who focused much of his philosophy off of government. Born into a wealthy family, he had a substantial and thorough education with interest in science, history and anthropology. In 1721, Montesquieu gained fame with the publication of the Persian Letters, in which he gave a brilliant satirical portrait of French and particularly Parisian civilization, seen through the eyes of two Persian travelers. This exceedingly successful work mocks the reign of Louis XIV, which had only recently ended; it pokes fun at all politically biting satire of religions, monarchies and the rich French under the guise of an epistolary novel, although he disdained calling it that. After years of traveling throughout Europe Montesquieu saw the success and failures of many governments, which he used as inspiration in Spirit of Law, his masterpiece. The Spirit of the Laws was written in 1748. Montesquieu argued three forms of government: republics, monarchies, and despotism, each having an activating force. In republics the force was civic virtue, in monarchies it was honor and in despotism it was fear. This was written during a time of absolutists and enlightened thinking, so people were finally moving from the mainstream focus on religion and began thinking and discussing new ideas. With all of this going on, many were beginning to resist against the monarchs and challenge absolutist rule. Montesquieu argues that no good comes out of all three branches being combined under one power, as seen in Turkey, where he notes that such a combination leads to oppression of the people. He emphasized the importance
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