Thomas Hobbes And John Locke

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In the beginning of the 1600’s, two Englishmen, Thomas Hobbes and John Locke, introduced two new theories of the foundations of all authority. Both of them lived in the period of the English Civil War and the period where there was no king in the country. However, they had totally different points of view when it came to how the government should work, and they both argued all authority came not from divine right but from a social contract between citizens. Their ideas later became the ground of modern political science! Hobbes believed that human beings need to choose an absolute monarch ruler to lead the people or similar to absolutism. He supposed that people are essentially self-center and driven by the “right to self-preservation.” If people have no absolute authority on top of them, then “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short” would follow. In order to have a successful government, social order must be placed because people would feel secure enough to obey the laws; therefore, absolute authority protects people’s rights. On the other hand, Locke believed that government’s only interest was to protect people’s life, liberty and property. He has a positive view of human nature. Each human is born with a pure, blank state and everything humans learn is from experiences not from inherent human nature. He thought the ultimate authority should come from the people who owned lands, and the government’s power should be limited to its basic protections to its citizens. Hobbes’ model was soon to be found in France under King Louis XIV. Louis XIV personified the pure absolutist ruler at his best. He is the head of the state, the army, the religion leader and or one can say he had the power over everything. He used massive public works projects such as veterans’ hospitals and new fortified towns on the frontiers to represent his military might. He
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