II.1 On the nature of the three different governments

, par Stewart

There are three species of governments : REPUBLICAN, MONARCHICAL, and DESPOTIC. To identify their nature, we need no more than the notion the least educated of men have of them. I posit three definitions, or rather three givens : first, that the republican government is one in which the people as a whole, or only a portion of the people, holds the sovereign authority ; the monarchical government, one in which one man alone governs, but by fixed and established laws ; whereas in the despotic government one man alone, with no law nor rule, prevails in all things by his will and his fancies.

This is what I mean by the nature of each government. We must now see what laws follow directly from this nature, and are consequently the first fundamental laws.