Montesquieu

The Revolution: Cato’s Thoughts on a Question Proposed to the Public (Part II)

Pamphlet by “Cato”: Thoughts on a Question of Importance Proposed to the Public, Whether it is probable that the Immense Extent of Territory acquired by this Nation at the late Peace, will operate towards the Prosperity, or the Ruin of the Island of Great-Britain? London, 1765. Part I here. When a nation has “Elegance and […]

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Coalescing All the States

Americans had a keen understanding of the idea, popularized by Montesquieu, that “only a small homogeneous society whose interests were essentially similar could properly sustain a republican government.” Gordon Wood, The Creation of the American Republic: 1776-1787, 356. This idea created a fundamental problem for America: it was not a small homogeneous society, and it was rapidly […]

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Infancy, Manhood, and Decline

The political spirit of the colonies in the 1700s, while unfamiliar in many respects, has parallels to the modern political landscape in America. The colonies political thought was closer to Niccolo Machiavelli and Montesquieu, rather than John Locke. The colonists generally “did not conceive of society in rational, mechanistic terms; rather society was organic and […]

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