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Spirit of Laws - MONTESQUIEU Charles Louis de Secondat - 1750. 
1750 - MONTESQUIEU, [Charles Louis] de Secondat, Baron de. The Spirit of Laws". With Corrections and Additions communicated by the Author. London: J. Nourse and P. Vaillant, 1750. Two volumes. Octavo, period-style full red morocco gilt, elaborately gilt-decorated spines and boards, raised bands, black morocco spine labels, marbled endpapers. $16,000.First edition in English of Montesquieu's classic De L'Esprit Des Loix, an enormous influence on American and French revolutionary thought, translated by Thomas Nugent and published just two years after the first French edition."One of the most remarkable works of the 18th century". Spirit of the Laws consists of six main sections, the first dealing with law in general and different forms of government, and the second with the means of government, military matters, taxation and so on. The third deals with national character and the effect on it of climate; a subject of peculiar originality". The fourth and fifth deal with economic matters and religion; the last is an appendix on law". The scheme that emerges of a liberal benevolent monarchy limited by safeguards on individual liberty was to prove immensely influential". his theories underlay the thinking which led up to the American and French revolutions, and the United States Constitution in particular is a lasting tribute to the principles he advocated" (PMM 197). "One of the greatest masterpieces of political theory and a pioneering work in sociology". its emphasis on the separation of powers of government and on a system of checks and balances profoundly influenced constitutional thought in both America and France. Indeed, during the early and later stages of the French Revolution, Montesquieu's theories were much more important than those of Rousseau" (McNamara, France in the Age of Revolution). "The theories of Montesquieu had a most important and far reaching influence on the thinking of the framers of the United States Constitution" (Sowerby III:2325). With woodcut-engraved ornamental initials and tailpieces, woodcut-engraved vignettes to title pages. Advertisement leaf at rear of Volume II. Kress 5057. CBEL II:800. Goldsmiths 8571. See Hazlitt, 121-22; Allibone, 1444. Interiors generally fresh with light occasional marginal dampstaining, title pages professionally cleaned with some early ink remaining, minor ink stains to one page (II:453). [Attributes: First Edition; Hard Cover]
[Bookseller: Bauman Rare Books]
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