Montesquieu Mini-lesson

Lesson Plan

This mini-lesson discusses the Baron de Montesquieu, one of the great thinkers of the 18th century. He spent a lot of time thinking about how governments should be created and maintained. These ideas guided the Founding Fathers when they wrote the Constitution and continue to influence the way people think about government around the world.


  • Analyze the ideas behind America’s founding documents.
  • Identify the ideas of various Enlightenment thinkers who influenced America’s founders.
  • Recognize how various individuals and groups contributed to the development of the U.S. government.
  • Big Ideas: liberty, separation of powers, checks and balances, European governments