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Terms in this set (58)

Thomas Hobbes
- English Philosopher 1588 - 1679
- Wrote Leviathan - describing the state of nature where all individuals were naturally free
- As a result, everyone suffered from continued fear and danger of a violent death.
- Life of man was solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.
- No laws in the state of nature and no one to enforce laws
- Only option was to create government.
- People agreed among themselves to lay down natural rights of equality and freedom and give absolute power to a sovereign. Could be a person or group.
- Hobbes liked a king for consistent exercise of authority.
- People had no right to revolt against a king.
John Locke
- 1632 - 1704 English Philosopher
- Two Treatises of Government
- State of Nature - agreed with Hobbes, brutal
- Required a social contract to assure peace
- Natural right could not be taken away "inalienable" (impossible to surrender)
- Social Contract was an agreement between the people and the king
- People had the right (responsibility) to revolt if the king violated these natural rights
- Property was the most important of the natural rights
- Governments should "govern lightly"
- Favored a representative form of government
Charles Montesquieu
- 1689 - 1755 French noble
- The Spirit of the Laws - 1748
- State of Nature - individuals were so fearful of violence and war that it caused the timid to associate with others and seek to live in a society
- Then he "loses his sense of weakness, equality ceases, and then commences the state of war"
- No social contract, but the state of war lead humans to laws and government
- Believed in separation of powers
- Used in our constitution
Jean - Jacques Rousseau
- 1712 - 1778 - born in Geneva Switzerland
- 1762 - Social Contract Theory
- People are good and corrupted by society
- State of Nature - free, equal, peaceful, and happy
- Ownership of property caused inequality, murder, and war.
- Social Contract was not a willing agreement but the rich stole land and fooled common people into accepting them as rulers.
- "Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains"
- Believed in direct democracy, that the will of the people could not
decided by elected representatives.
- People will hold all political power
- "We the people" taken from Rousseau
- Believed religion divided and weakened the state.
- Favored a "civil religion" that accepted God, but concentrated on the sacredness of the social contract.