DBQ3: Documents of Democracy


In his 1748 work, The Spirit of the Laws, Baron de Montesquieu explained his views on the separation of government power.

Again, there is no liberty, if the power of judging be not separated from the legislative and executive powers.  Were it joined with the legislative, the life and liberty of the subject would be exposed to arbitrary control, for the judge would then be the legislator.  Were it joined to the executive power, the judge might behave with all the violence of an oppressor.

There would be an end of everything were the same man or the same (governing) body, whether of the nobles or of the people to exercise those three powers that of enacting laws, that of executing the public resolutions, and that of judging the crimes or differences of individuals.

Document 2
a. Which three powers did Montesquieu believe should be separated among branches of government?
b. What would be the consequences of NOT separating the three powers?

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