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Montesquieu, Charles Louis de Secondat

Charles Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu (1689–1755), was born near Bordeaux into an aristocratic family. With the death of his father in 1713, he became the lord of the family estate, and with the death of an uncle a couple of years later, he became a baron and President à Mortier of the Parlement in Bordeaux—a post that he would later sell, claiming his interests in law were more theoretical than practical. His first major work, The Persian Letters (1721), was a literary success, and he became the darling of several exclusive Parisian circles. After extensive travels in Europe, Montesquieu wrote a historical study titled Considerations on the Causes of the Greatness of the Romans and on their Decline (1734). His most important ...

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