The findings of my research focus on my analysis of The Spirit of the Laws in relation to current arguments made by other political scientists. One of the greatest challenges in understanding Montesquieu, is that he makes broad generalizations that seemingly contradict each other, but his examples show the purpose of his statements and indicate that his generalizations are rules that loosely apply to many (if not most) situations.
Some of the highlights of the research I completed include: regime typology, liberty for state vs. the individual, the confederate republic, and commerce as a means for international peace. First, Montesquieu divides regimes in to three categories: republics, monarchies, and despotic states. Second, he distinguishes between liberty as applied to a state and to the individual. Third, he offers a solution to the security of small states by forming alliances to create a confederacy. Finally, he suggests that commerce works to make war less desirable, thus increasing peace internationally.
After this summer, I hope to continue exploring the intricacies that lie within The Spirit of the Laws, but I also realize that I must take a step back from my Montesquieu focused studies to allow room for this upcoming academic year. Still, I know that I will return to great philosophers, like Montesquieu, to serve as the emphasis of my research in the future.
by Charles Moore