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v - Statecraft

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 November 2020

David W. Carrithers
Affiliation:
University of Tennessee, Chattanooga
Philip Stewart
Affiliation:
Duke University, North Carolina
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Summary

In Letters from Xenocrates to Pheres (1724) Montesquieu explores the politics of Regency France ( 1715-1723) during the minority of Louis XV. In On Politics (1725) he implores princes to employ straightforward and moral strategies rather than resorting to the ruthless tactics recommended by Machiavelli in The Prince. In Reflections on Universal Monarchy in Europe (1732–1733) he stresses the need to inject morality into international relations and teaches that warfare no longer bestows the same benefits as in Roman times. In his Reflections on the Character of Certain Princes and Certain Events in Their Lives (1731–1733) Montesquieu emphasizes the need for moral values in politics and shows that immoral acts by princes result in harm, not benefit. In his Memorandum on the Silence to Impose on the “Constitution” (1754), he offers Louis XV advice on how to deal with the presence of the Jansenist, predestinarian strain of Catholicism in France. He concludes that toleration is a practical necessity and says priests should be forbidden to inquire of parishioners whether they are Jansenists, who in turn should not identify themselves as such.

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Chapter
Information
Montesquieu
Discourses, Dissertations, and Dialogues on Politics, Science, and Religion
, pp. 155 - 205
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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  • Statecraft
  • Edited and translated by David W. Carrithers, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, Philip Stewart, Duke University, North Carolina
  • Book: Montesquieu
  • Online publication: 02 November 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108882521.006
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  • Statecraft
  • Edited and translated by David W. Carrithers, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, Philip Stewart, Duke University, North Carolina
  • Book: Montesquieu
  • Online publication: 02 November 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108882521.006
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Statecraft
  • Edited and translated by David W. Carrithers, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, Philip Stewart, Duke University, North Carolina
  • Book: Montesquieu
  • Online publication: 02 November 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108882521.006
Available formats
×