Montesquieu's education started at the age of 11 when he was sent to Juilly, a school maintained by the Congregation of the Oratory. From 1705 to 1709 he studied law in Bordeaux. "From 1705 to 1709 he was a legal apprentice in Paris. There he came to know some of the most advanced thinkers of his time: Fredet, the Abbe Lama, and Boulainvilliers.(Ibid.). In 1716 Montesquieu got a seat of president a mortier in the parlement of Guyenne from his deceased uncle. Even though he did not like his job he believed parliaments were necessary to control the monarchs.
In 1721 Montesquieu published the Persian Letters, which he began working on while studying in Bordeaux. The book was a success. In the Persian Letters Montesquieu showed how relative all of the French values were. Even though the technique used in this witty book was previously used by other writers, Montesquieu did a great job making fun of the European values. At that time he already believed in the immorality of European practices such as religious prosecution. The book gave roots for Montesquieu's later arguments and ideas.
When in 1728 Montesquieu, with the help of his Parisian connections he got elected to the French Academy, he was happy to sell his office of president a mortier. In the course of the next three years he traveled all over Europe, visiting Germany, Hungary, England, Holland, Austria, and Italy. It is not surprising that out of his European tour the country which had the greatest impact on his later work (just like it did on Voltaire's) was England. During his stay there he was... [continues]
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