Answer: (2) The Spirit of the Laws
In his book The Spirit of the Laws, Montesquieu suggested a separation of authority between the legislative, executive and the judiciary inside the government. In the USA, after 13 colonies proclaimed their independence from Britain, this form of government was put into effect.
Growing Middle Class – End to Privileges
- In France, in the past, workers and peasants did not have complete measures to change the economic and social order of the society. Often they faced situations of food scarcity and had to take the burden of increasing taxes.
- To stop this exploitation they had to revolt, but did not have a permanent solution to this problem.
- Hence the responsibility of changing the social and economic order was left on the prosperous and educated groups within the third estate, who had access to new ideas. This third estate comprised administrative officials, lawyers, manufacturers, merchants etc.
- A new social group called the middle class started rising in the 18th century.
- This middle class earned their wealth through manufacture of goods such as silk textile, woollen textile, which were either purchased by richer sections of the society or they were exported. The middle class even increased their wealth through overseas trade.
- No group should be privileged by birth was the belief of the emerging educated middle class. They believed that a person should hold a position in a society based on merit.
- The above ideas gave fruit to the idea of society based on equal opportunities, equal laws, and freedom for all by philosophers such as Jean Jacques Rousseau and John Locke.
- The doctrine of absolute right of the monarch, divine right of the monarch was refuted by John Locke in his Two Treatises of Government.
- The above idea was carried ahead by Jean Jacques Rousseau, he proposed a form of Government based on social contract between the representatives of Government and people.
- In the USA, the model of Government, based on division of powers, mentioned in the Spirit of Laws by Montesquieu, was put into force.
- A good example for political thinkers of France was the individual rights guaranteed in the American Constitution.