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Montesquieu, Charles Louis de Secondat de la Brad

( Advocate, writer)

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Biography Montesquieu, Charles Louis de Secondat de la Brad
photo Montesquieu, Charles Louis de Secondat de la Brad
(1689-1755)
He spent his childhood in a castle not far from the mother in Bordeaux, in southwest France. The heir of a noble aristocratic family simply playing with the peasant kids, fluent in the local Gascon dialect, for a long time kept a strong southern accent, and knew all about how to grow a vine. Then, and laid his love of rural life, the simplicity of manners and clothes, the propensity to severe, and sometimes to the crude little word.
He lost his mother and ten years has been defined in college Zhyuyi father, who founded the Oratory (the members of this order, did not take monastic vows, read sermons and interviews with parishioners in prayer halls - he). Education, a secular rather than religious, included a familiarity with ancient literature and philosophy, knowledge of which Charles Louis continued to deepen and later. Five years later, he returned to Bordeaux and began studying law, because the family had decided beforehand that he would inherit from his childless uncle's presidency of the Parliament of Bordeaux.
Parliaments in force in France until the revolution of 1789, did not resemble the current legislative representative assembly. It was the highest judicial authority, responsible for national civil and criminal cases. At that time, any bureaucratic office in the country was in the personal property of the owner: it could buy, . sell, . lease or bequeath, . that most often do - family 'mantle of nobility' (so-called bureaucrats who know as opposed to 'nobility sword' - the hereditary military) cherished their traditions,
.
Osvoivshis in near-chaos of the French variety of laws, the young man first became an attorney, then adviser to the parliament of Bordeaux, and in 27 years, as has been predetermined, its president. With the death of his uncle, he also received the title of baron and the name. Name, now known around the world. Who knows Secondat, Baron de la Brad? On Montesquieu also heard all.
By the time his father was no longer alive, so to Charles Louis as the eldest son went and ancestral castle of La Brad. Being married to Jeanne de Latirg, lame and ugly (the bride chose all the same uncle), Montesquieu, however, has received her 100 thousand livres dowry and forever locked his wife in the walls of the house, not letting either the capital or even in Bordeaux. He treated her with respect, although not considered it necessary to be faithful. His wife gave him a son and two daughters. Younger, Denise, was the favorite of his father, which, however, did not prevent the Baron treat it, as with older children, very severe.
Montesquieu did not like to pose, so we know only two of his portrait from life: 30 years in the garb of President of Parliament, and 50-year-old, in the form of an ancient hero. The first - on the canvas, the second - on the medal cast in profile (on the old Baron had developed a cataract in the right eye, which he preferred to hide).
How does Montesquieu's contemporaries remembered? A thin, low growth. Like - 'typical Gascon': inquisitive, independent, proud, but always knows how to control himself. Cold - out of fear of seeming vain, not hypocritical, but if you want gallant. Sometimes a little funny - his avarice or negligence in dress. Kind and sympathetic, he was ready to plead for pensions, commutation of sentence. Say, once even bought rights from slavery. Montesquieu to old age remained a zealous owner: continually engaged in the modernization of the castle, park and, moreover, lovingly caring for the vineyards - the main source of his income. Not just happened: some German scholars traveled from afar in La Bred to express my respects to a member of many academies, covered with glory the writer, but found him trudging off the field in a dusty peasant cap with a vine on her shoulder and a spade in his hand.
Service does not attract him: sophisticated chicanery, procedural formalities, in short, everything that made the ceremonial judicial action to induce the Speaker boredom. But this is partly a forced judicial experience, the practice was not in vain: mastering intricate system of French law has proved very useful later, when Montesquieu took up his famous work 'The Spirit of Laws'.
In the meantime, he combined service with academic classes, which attracted him much more. Elected in 1716, a young member of the Academy of Bordeaux, Montesquieu, for several years wrote a lot of reports and speeches: 'On the causes of echo', 'The appointment of the renal glands', 'On the sea tides', 'On the causes of gravity of bodies' ... How was hypothesized, the mixture lyh for that time, speculation, and ideas.
But in 1721 appeared a work which caused a sensation. Although the 'Persian Letters' came under the fictitious name of the author, his real name instantly became known to the public. Book immediately fell into the category of prohibited, which, however, did not stop her regularly reprinted abroad. Montesquieu put into the mouths of their heroes - the Persians, Uzbeks and Ri-Ki - a daring critique of French political life. Sarcastic assessment of Louis XIV, . nicknamed flatterers King-sun, . condemnation court unattractive mores, . unconcealed indignation author policies of the Catholic Church, . prosecute any manifestation of dissent, . Montesquieu has consistently earned an enthusiastic reception in the fashionable salons,
. Literary success beckoned the author in Paris. With great difficulty after resigning in the province (and the parliament, and the Bordeaux Academy, which elected him its president, opposed it), Montesquieu in 1726 moved to the capital, only occasionally returning found out the family.
He loved Paris for its lightness, for a motley crowd, with the exquisite beauty of women and sophisticated men's secularism, and Versailles and the royal court could not tolerate - for false pretentiousness and inflate.
Now, for Montesquieu, nothing is more important, how to become a member of the French Academy. And that pretty soon succeeded, although the story of the 'Persian Letters' almost prevented the election. From the pen of Montesquieu are increasingly leaving the literary trinkets and small essays on political and legal topics. But even then mature conception of a serious treatise on the law. Natural curiosity prompted Montesquieu to travel, in fact, even to one, just dragged it for almost three years: Austria, Hungary, Italy and the Netherlands, Germanic principalities and England. Montesquieu and spend long time in different cities, see the sights, met with local celebrities, with politicians and scientists, has been treated kindly by the courts. He carefully studied the laws of each country, especially its geography, customs and mores of the population. As many as half of Montesquieu held in England: its public institutions made strong impression on him, and the activities of the parliament has created respect for the constitutional rule.
In the spring of 1731 Montesquieu returned to. He continued to divide his life between Paris and the chateau of La Brad, incredibly read a lot and worked, worked ... In late October 1748 in Geneva, the publisher Barium published (anonymously) the first small edition of a thick two-volume 'The Spirit of Laws'. Not yet been stamped out last sheet, and the French salons were waiting for novelty. On the work of Montesquieu knew, so runs snapped up immediately (after a couple of weeks the book 'came' to Paris, though its importation into France was forbidden by the censor, as well as to London and Turin). Even if the court she was met with no hostility: he dauphin, son and heir of Louis XV, shown to reflect the interest of the philosopher. Year two, ten years around the books not recorded: its adherents and critics like competing to see who favors a categorical.
What is so impressed contemporaries this work? Last but not least - his style. The reader is offered not the usual essay on the law, and heavy or dogmatic, but rather a pleasant, picturesque 'walk' across countries and eras, acquainted with the diversity of folk customs and social rules. 'I set out general principles and saw, . that particular cases themselves obey them, . - The author wrote in the preface, . - That the history of each nation is merely a consequence of these principles, . and that any private act or associated with other, . or follows from other, . more general law ',
. Defining, . that form of government in a country depends not on the will of the legislator, . but the identity of the state itself: its size, . population, . Climate, . Geography, . religion, . professed people, . his manners, . Montesquieu introduced the science of law and general knowledge in humanitarian Newtonian method, . rejects the intervention of the divine in the life of nature, . and now the society.,
. Important place in the book is the theory of forms of government, namely: the republic, monarchy, despotism
. Not picking up to judge which is better, Montesquieu, only explaining the specifics of each type of government, resulting in entertaining and vivid examples from the distant or recent history. Maybe that's why the political sympathies of the author's 'Spirit of Laws' every reader interprets in its own way - Montesquieu gave this reason. 'Nobleman mantle', . He fully shared the interests of their caste and opposed the absolute monarchy, the feudal monarchy, . therefore, the French Parliament found in the 'spirit of the law' justification of the principles of the rule, . under which power would be constrained by the King 'by the authorities' - the privileged classes.,
. At the same time genuinely admired Montesquieu's political institutions that existed on the other side of the Channel
. And although the picture he 'English Constitution' was significantly different from the real, his slender theory 'separation of powers' has won the minds of many contemporaries, Montesquieu, and even larger number of offspring. Finally, the highest evaluation of the merits of democracy, given the 'spirit of the law', as promoted flowering of republican ideas in France, that even helped some of Montesquieu's admirers call him a Republican.
However, true greatness 'Spirit of Laws' was not only in its constitutional theory (although many of its provisions have become an important factor in modern political culture). Condemnation of despotism in all its manifestations, . of the principle of civil and personal liberty, . call for political moderation and gradualism in the conduct of any government change, . pro-paganda ideas of peace remain for us today is very attractive.,
. Montesquieu spent her last years of the proofs of books 'The Spirit of Laws' and 'Persian Letters', tirelessly to improve these works
. Although by the end of his life of controversy surrounding them almost completely subsided. The writer died of pneumonia in Paris and was buried in the crypt of the cathedral sv.Syulpitsiya. The funeral was surprisingly modest. The revolutionary storm dispersed the end of the century his remains. Tomb Montesquieu was not preserved
. It is necessary virtue in the republic, to the extent necessary honor in a monarchy, so as to need despotic rule FEAR: goodness there is not need, and honor is dangerous.
. Absolute power in the sovereign despotic rule completely transforms to whom he trusts her
. People are capable of deep respect themselves, could make a revolution there. Therefore necessary to deprive them of any fear of courage and put out the slightest ambition '.
. 'The Spirit of Laws.
. Book III, Chapter IX: 'On the principle of despotic government'

. 'There is no other word which would have more distinct values and which would affect the minds of so differently, as the word FREEDOM
. Some considered it the opportunity to overthrow the Emperor, . they gave tyrannical rule, while others - for the right to elect to, . whom they should obey, others considered it right to bear arms and to show the brutality; others - have the privilege of human rulers of their nation or to obey only their own laws,
. Some people took a long time for the freedom of a custom to wear a long beard. Others have linked the word with any one form of government and exclude all other. Those who have tasted of Republican rule, regarded it as characteristic of the republic, but those who prospered under monarchical rule, believed that it is characteristic of the monarchy. Summary, each called freedom of a rule that is most consistent with their customs or inclinations'.
. 'The Spirit of Laws.
. Book XI, Chapter II: 'The different importance attached to the word freedom'

. In 1765 Catherine II reported the famous French educator of D'Alembert's, . writes some work: 'In it you will see, . as for the benefit of my empire I fleeced the president Montesquieu, . without mentioning his name: I hope, . if the next world he would see me working, . he would forgive me this crib for the benefit of twenty million people, . which should follow from the,
. He is too fond of humanity, to take offense at me, his book became my prayer book. Here, sir, an example of fate, who become the book of brilliant people - they serve the welfare of mankind '. And two years later, the Empress has issued a 'Mandate' Commission on the drafting of a new Code, which became Russia's most important political and legislative act of the time. This document drew on many sources: from 526 to 106 articles were borrowed from the book of Italian educator C. Beccaria 'On Crimes and Punishments', . Several articles - from the 'Encyclopedia' of Diderot and d'Alembert, . and 245 articles contained direct quotations from Montesquieu,
. For all that, 'Instructions' was not, plagiarism, contrary to most of Catherine. Based on the ideas of the book 'The Spirit of Laws', . she developed the legal framework of Russia 'enlightened absolutism', . so much rashodivshiyusya with the views of Montesquieu, . that he, . staunch opponent of absolutism, . unlikely to agree to recognize Russia's Empress for his pupil.,


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Montesquieu, Charles Louis de Secondat de la Brad, photo, biography
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