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What was happening at the time that can provide insight into the motivations and perspective of the Montesquieu when he wrote The Spirit of the Laws? 

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The Spirit of the Laws (originally De l'esprit des loix) was released in 1748. It is a bit surprising that this was so far before the French Revolution, because many of the ideas in The Spirit of the Laws about liberty, republic, and constitutional government would go on to be vital in influencing the French Revolution. Yet it took over a generation for this revolution to really take hold.

Montesquieu was...

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