Montesquieu
 

XXIV.5 That the Catholic religion is better suited to a monarchy, and the Protestant religion is better adapted to a republic

When a reli­gion is born and deve­lops in a state, it usually fol­lows the plan of the govern­ment where it is esta­bli­shed ; for the men who receive it and those who intro­duce it have essen­tially no other notions of poli­ti­cal asso­cia­tion than those of the state in which they were born.

When the Christian reli­gion suf­fe­red that unfor­tu­nate rift two cen­tu­ries ago that divi­ded it into Catholic and Protestant, the peo­ples of the north embra­ced Protestantism and those of the south kept Catholicism.

This was because the peo­ples of the north have and always will have a spi­rit of inde­pen­dence and free­dom which the peo­ples of the south do not have, and because a reli­gion which has no visi­ble head goes bet­ter with the inde­pen­dence of the cli­mate than a reli­gion that has one.

In the very coun­tries where the Protestant reli­gion took hold, revo­lu­tions occur­red on the level of the poli­ti­cal state. Luther, having some great prin­ces for him, would never have been able to get them to accept an eccle­sias­ti­cal autho­rity that had no exte­rior pre-emi­nence ; and Calvin, having for him the peo­ples who lived in repu­blics or bour­geois obs­cu­red in monar­chies, could very well not esta­blish pre-emi­nen­ces and digni­ties.

Each of these two reli­gions could think itself the most per­fect, Calvinism consi­de­ring itself more consis­tent with what Jesus Christ had said, and Lutheranism with what the Apostles had done.