Montesquieu

I have said that the nature of repu­bli­can govern­ment is that the peo­ple as a whole, or cer­tain fami­lies, hold the sove­reign autho­rity ; the nature of monar­chi­cal govern­ment, that the prince holds the sove­reign autho­rity, but wields it accor­ding to esta­bli­shed laws ; the nature of des­po­tic govern­ment, that one man governs alone accor­ding to his desi­res and fan­cies. I need no more in order to iden­tify their three prin­ci­ples ; they derive from them natu­rally. I shall begin with the repu­bli­can govern­ment, and speak first of the demo­cra­tic one.