The Enlightenment Era

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The Enlightenment Era Out of the 5 individuals I felt that Montesquieu and John Locke affected the system of American government that we have today. Montesquieu's number one contribution to the American Government was in forming the ideas about the three branches of government: Judicial, Legislative, and Executive. This is the basis of out governmental system today. It is a system of checks and balances in which two branches are always watching the other one; making sure that no one branch gains too much power. So really within this system there is no way for one branch to take over and become an absolute power. Montesquieu was a French writer and publicist. He was born on January 18, 1689 and he was from a family that was of noble rank. His grandfather was the President of the Bordeaux Parliament and his father was a member of the royal bodyguardand.From 1700-1711 he attended the Oratorian College at Juilly. There he received a literary and classical education. When he was twenty-five he returned home to receive the title of Baron de Montesquieu from his uncle and became councillor of the Bordeaux Parliament. After a while he married a Protestant woman named Jeanne Lartigue and they had three children. At the end of nine years he sold his office, and devoted himself all to study which became his life's passion. Montesquieu wrote and published many writings. His earliest productions were read before the Academy of Bordeaux, and in 1716 he became a member. They dealt with many subjects including scientific topics, history, and politics. He studied all his life and wrote many books but what he is best known for it his writhig about government is his book called "Spirit of Laws" in which he outlines his beliefs for the ideal government. This brings me to John Locke. He brought the ideas of the need of government to create order, rights of citizens, and somewhat the idea of voting. I say voting because he says that rulers should only stay in power until they are not wanted by the people anymore. This is very similar to people voting for the candidate they favor. They can not kick him out of office if they do not like his decisions and that is where Locke's ideas differ from our government. He was a very smart man and he knew what he was talking about because about four-hundred years later we are using some of his ideas.
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