THE SPIRIT OF THE LAWS…
Baron Charles de Montesquieu (1689-1755)
London: Printed for J. Nourse and P. Vaillant, 1750
First English edition
JC179 M74 1750
Montesquieu claimed to have found the secret of Britain’s success in maintaining a stable government. He considered that the power of any state could be separated into three main parts: a legislative power to make the laws, an executive power to enforce them, and a judicial power to judge when the laws had been broken. If all of these powers were concentrated in one body the result was tyranny. If they were separated, then freedom was protected, because the misuse of power by one branch of government would be cancelled by the other two branches.