How did Montesquieu influence both the American and French revolutions?
Montesquieu saw despotism, in particular, as a standing danger for any government not already despotic, and argued that it could best be prevented by a system in which different bodies exercised legislative, executive, and judicial power, and in which all those bodies were bound by the rule of law. This theory of the separation of powers had an enormous impact on liberal political theory, and on the framers of the constitution of the United States of America.
The fundamental basis of the Enlightenment is the embrace the concept of natural rights as a rational ideology and this leads directly to desires of liberty and a democratic government to protect people's freedoms and their equality. The American and French Revolutions were based on these ideas, in contrast to the monarchies and classist societies from which they rebelled.