Comparison of Political Thinkers

1315 Words6 Pages
Social Contract was one of the foundations of the American political system. Social contract is a belief that state exists only to serve the will of the people, and they are the source of all political power enjoyed by the state. (1) The first political thinker to come up with the idea of a social contract was Plato. After him, Thomas Hobbes expanded this idea in response to the Civil War in England. Further, John Locke and Rousseau took this theory a step ahead and made addition to it. These three thinkers together form a tradition of social contract theory. ------------------------------------------------- Thomas Hobbes was born in 1588, the year in which a Spanish Armada was defeated by the monarchs of England. It was during his lifetime that the civil war began and therefore, the main backdrop of his writings was the English Civil War of the 17th century. The war was between the Parliament and the Stuart Kings. The Kings tried to use the concept of religious freedom to gain the support of the people. The parliament, on the other hand, was against religious dissent by the people. In Hobbes’s view, monarch could never be for the people since the authority of the monarch came from the God and not from the people. It was in trying to think about how to resolve this conflict that Hobbes came up with his new concepts in political theory. Hobbes stressed on the need of absolute sovereignty and. individual liberty. Absolute sovereignty means a state which has the ultimate power within its boundaries. It was because; in his lifetime he had seen how people’s freedom was suppressed in a fight between the Parliament and the monarchs. He wanted to give the people enough liberty to choose for themselves. He came up with the idea of a “State”. According to him “God created men and men created State”. He came up with this idea because he wanted a political community of a

More about Comparison of Political Thinkers

Open Document