A City Guide To Zhaoyuan for To prevent this abuse, it is necessary from the very nature of things that power should be a check to power.16 Montesquieu’s insight became the basis for the American system of checks and balances between executive, legislative, and judiciary branches of government. With a similar concern, Benjamin Constant (1767 1837), a French-Swiss political thinker, maintained that whenever unlimited power was exercised, regardless of who wielded it, the results were unfortunate. The problem, he states, rests not with the holder of power but with the amount of power held. There are weapons, Constant writes, which are too heavy for the hand of man.17 Perhaps the most famous statement of this sort was made by the English historian and moralist Lord Acton (1834 1902), who observed that all power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Like Montesquieu and Constant, Acton cautions us against the unintended yet unavoidable consequences of the concentration of power. A City Guide To Zhaoyuan 2016.