1689 - 1755

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Charles Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu (18 January 1689 – 10 February 1755), generally referred to as simply Montesquieu, was a French judge, man of letters, historian, and political philosopher. He is the principal source of the theory of separation of powers, which is implemented in many constitutions throughout the world. He is also known for doing more than any other author to secure the place of the word despotism in the political lexicon. His anonymously published The Spirit of Law (1748), which was received well in both Great Britain and the American colonies, influenced the Founding Fathers of the United States in drafting the U.S. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Montesquieu has received more than 3,954,592 page views. His biography is available in 101 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 97 in 2019). Montesquieu is the 21st most popular philosopher (down from 19th in 2019), the 12th most popular biography from France (down from 10th in 2019) and the 2nd most popular French Philosopher.

Montesquieu is most famous for his work "The Spirit of the Laws," which is considered to be one of the most influential works in the history of political philosophy.

Memorability Metrics

  • 4.0M

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  • 84.34

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 101

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 16.78

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 3.17

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)


Among philosophers, Montesquieu ranks 21 out of 1,267Before him are Thales of Miletus, Francis Bacon, Thomas Aquinas, John Locke, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, and Arthur Schopenhauer. After him are Democritus, Epicurus, Seneca the Younger, Friedrich Engels, Averroes, and Auguste Comte.

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Among people born in 1689, Montesquieu ranks 1After him are John V of Portugal, Samuel Richardson, Jacques I, Prince of Monaco, Samuel Bellamy, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Joseph Bodin de Boismortier, Prince William, Duke of Gloucester, Zahir al-Umar, Blas de Lezo, Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer, and Alexis Piron. Among people deceased in 1755, Montesquieu ranks 1After him are Francesco Durante, Gerard Majella, Princess Albertina Frederica of Baden-Durlach, Louis de Rouvroy, duc de Saint-Simon, Joseph Bodin de Boismortier, Johann Georg Pisendel, Gabrielle-Suzanne de Villeneuve, Jean-Baptiste Oudry, Johann Georg Gmelin, Johann Georg Christian, Prince of Lobkowicz, and Philipp Stamma.

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In France

Among people born in France, Montesquieu ranks 12 out of 6,770Before him are Voltaire (1694), Victor Hugo (1802), Louis Pasteur (1822), Louis XVI of France (1754), Claude Monet (1840), and Jules Verne (1828). After him are Louis XV of France (1710), Molière (1622), Charles de Gaulle (1890), Honoré de Balzac (1799), Jean-Paul Sartre (1905), and Alain Delon (1935).


Among philosophers born in France, Montesquieu ranks 2Before him are René Descartes (1596). After him are Auguste Comte (1798), Michel Foucault (1926), Henri Bergson (1859), Michel de Montaigne (1533), Peter Abelard (1079), Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809), Jean Bodin (1530), Roland Barthes (1915), Gilles Deleuze (1925), and Henri de Saint-Simon (1760).