Montesquieu Quotes – Use in Political Essays

There is no greater tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of the law and in the name of justice.

Success in the majority of circumstances depends on knowing how long it takes to succeed.

I have always observed that to succeed in the world one should appear like a fool but be wise.

The tyranny of a prince in an oligarchy is not so dangerous to the public welfare as the apathy of a citizen in a democracy.

To become truly great, one has to stand with people, not above them.

If the triangles made a god, they would give him three sides.

Useless laws weaken the necessary laws.

Do you think that God will punish them for not practicing a religion which he did not reveal to them?

There is no nation so powerful, as the one that obeys its laws not from principals of fear or reason, but from passion.

Lunch kills half of Paris, supper the other half.

It is not the young people that degenerate; they are not spoiled till those of mature age are already sunk into corruption.

I’ve never known any trouble that an hour’s reading didn’t assuage.

Liberty is the right of doing whatever the laws permit.

What orators lack in depth they make up for in length.

Friendship is an arrangement by which we undertake to exchange small favors for big ones.

Countries are well cultivated, not as they are fertile, but as they are free.

An author is a fool who, not content with boring those he lives with, insists on boring future generations.

There should be weeping at a man’s birth, not at his death.

Luxury ruins republics; poverty, monarchies.

The severity of the laws prevents their execution.

We should weep for men at their birth, not at their death.