Montesquieu's Spirit of the Laws was an important contribution to political theory, particularly in its attempt to adapt political institutions to the needs of each particular culture. Montesquieu was critical of an absolute monarchy in which a single sovereign exercised all power. Instead, he argued for a separation of the executive, legislative, and judicial powers. This concept became a major influence on later democratic political systems, notably the US Constitution. This system would prevent any single person or institution from exercising too much power and would provide a check on abuses.
In particular, Montesquieu admired the English system. England had a monarch as the head of government, but the monarch's rule was not absolute. Legislative authority was vested in a Partliament, and the judiciary was independent as well. Such a system, Montesquieu believed, was best suited to produce well-ordered liberty as an alternative to either despotism or the unchecked rule of the people.
(The entire section contains 4 answers and 605 words.)