What is the aim of Spirit of the Laws by Montesquieu?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The primary focus of Montesquieu's work is to address the issue of individual freedom and institutional control on a political science level.  Montesquieu's work operates on a premise that seeks to analyze which form and structure of government will work best in accordance to Enlightenment understandings of freedom and individual autonomy.  His solution existed in the idea of divided government.  The idea of seeing power in government as one domain that needed to be separated into different branches with each portion containing a different function that is needed to sustain government is vitally important to Montesquieu's work.  It argues that power is more likely to be judiciously and cautiously exercised if government is configured in such a manner where different aspects of power are divided and can be separated out into other branches of government.