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1689 - 1755

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Charles Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu (French pronunciation: [ʃaʁl lwi də səɡɔ̃da baʁɔ̃ də la bʁɛd e də mɔ̃tɛskjø]; 18 January 1689 – 10 February 1755), generally referred to as simply Montesquieu (US: , UK also , French: [mɔ̃tɛskjø]), 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 3,853,532 page views. His biography is available in 97 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 96 in 2019). Montesquieu is the 19th most popular philosopher (down from 18th in 2019), the 10th most popular biography from France (up from 11th 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

  • 3.9M

    Page Views (PV)

  • 85.71

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 97

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 17.50

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 2.91

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

Page views of Montesquieus by language


Among philosophers, Montesquieu ranks 19 out of 1,081Before him are Friedrich Nietzsche, Francis Bacon, Augustine of Hippo, Thales of Miletus, Thomas Aquinas, and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. After him are Thomas Hobbes, Democritus, Arthur Schopenhauer, Epicurus, Seneca the Younger, and Erasmus.

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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, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Samuel Bellamy, Joseph Bodin de Boismortier, Prince William, Duke of Gloucester, Archduchess Maria Magdalena of Austria, Blas de Lezo, Alexis Piron, and Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer. Among people deceased in 1755, Montesquieu ranks 1After him are Gerard Majella, Louis de Rouvroy, duc de Saint-Simon, Francesco Durante, Joseph Bodin de Boismortier, Princess Albertina Frederica of Baden-Durlach, Johann Georg Gmelin, Jean-Baptiste Oudry, Johann Georg Pisendel, Philipp Stamma, Stepan Krasheninnikov, and Edward Braddock.

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In France

Among people born in France, Montesquieu ranks 10 out of 6,011Before him are Joan of Arc (1412), Blaise Pascal (1623), Louis Pasteur (1822), Voltaire (1694), Victor Hugo (1802), and Claude Monet (1840). After him are Louis XVI of France (1754), Jules Verne (1828), Jean-Paul Sartre (1905), Nostradamus (1503), Molière (1622), and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900).


Among philosophers born in France, Montesquieu ranks 2Before him are René Descartes (1596). After him are Auguste Comte (1798), Michel de Montaigne (1533), Michel Foucault (1926), Henri Bergson (1859), Peter Abelard (1079), Jean Bodin (1530), Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809), Roland Barthes (1915), Henri de Saint-Simon (1760), and Charles Fourier (1772).