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Montesquieu (Charles de Secondat; 1689–1755), French political philosopher. He inherited the title Baron de la Brède et de Montesquieu. His theory that governmental powers should be separated into legislative, executive, and judicial bodies to safeguard personal liberty was developed in his most important work, The Spirit of Laws (1748). His ideas influenced the framers of the U.S. Constitution. Montesquieu's Persian Letters (1721), which satirized contemporary French sociopolitical institutions, won him early fame.

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