Montesquieu was born and educated during the repressive monarchy of King Louis XIV. After the monarch’s death in 1715, France became increasingly burdened with governmental and ecclesiastical abuses. Disputes between the monarch, the legislature, and the Church broke down the efficiency of the machinery of suppression. In this atmosphere, Montesquieu began his criticism of French politics, society, and religion. In 1721 he anonymously published the Persian Letters, easily avoiding French restrictions by publishing the volume in Amsterdam. During the 1720’s, he attended the Club de L’Entresol, a salon famous for open discussions on political reforms, until it was closed by the government. In 1748, after twenty years of work, he published The Spirit of the Laws in Geneva. This popular volume attacked the monarchy, promoting the separation of powers into equally powerful branches to ensure the defense of liberty. It undermined the Church by arguing that morality was dependent on geography and climate and was not fixed by God. The Sorbonne retaliated by twice drafting detailed censures of the work, but it failed to publish either condemnation. Both Jesuits and Jansenists censured numerous passages; despite Montesquieu’s efforts in 1751 the work was placed on the Vatican’s index of prohibited books. However, it continued to sell throughout Europe and would eventually become regarded as a classic work in political theory.