Translated by Thomas Jefferson [Destutt de Tracy, Antoine Louis Claude, Comte. [Jefferson, Thomas]. A Commentary and Review of Montesquieu's Spirit of Laws, Prepared For Press From the Original Manuscript in the Hands of the Publisher. To Which Are Annexed, Observations on the Thirty-First Book, by the Late M. Condorcet: And Two Letters of Helveticus, on the Merits of the Same Work. Philadelphia: Duane, 1811. viii, 292 pp. Reprinted 2006, 2019 by The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd. ISBN-13: 9781584776543; ISBN-10: 1584776544. Hardcover. New. $75. * Commentaire sur l'Esprit des Lois de Montesquieu (1806) is a critique of Montesquieu's pessimistic appraisal of democracy in De l'Esprit des Lois. While minister to France in the 1780s Jefferson saw this work in manuscript. It so impressed him that he arranged for its publication in France and translated it anonymously for publication in America. Looking back at this work in a letter from 1811, Jefferson commended it for correcting De l'Esprit des Lois. While other studies "nibbled only at its errors," he told his correspondent, this work rebutted them "with a depth of thought, precision of idea, of language and of logic, which will force conviction into every mind. I declare to you, Sir, in the spirit of truth and sincerity, that I consider it the most precious gift the present age has received.": The Writings of Thomas Jefferson V:566-571. CONTENTS: Of laws in England; Of laws originating directly from the nature of the government; Of the principles of the three forms of government; The laws relating to education, should be congenial with the principles of the government; Laws formed by the legislative should be consistent with the principles of the government; Consequences of the principles of different governments, in relation to the simplicity of civil and criminal laws, the forms of judicial proceedings and the apportionment of punishments; Consequences of the different principles of the three forms of government, relative to sumptuary laws, to luxury and to the condition of women; Of the corruption of the principle in each of the three forms of government -- Of laws relative to the defensive force; Of laws relative to the offensive force.
Book number 42906