The Enlightenment Many men and woman have had powerful impacts on the historical time period that we have come to know as The Enlightenment. These impacts tended to be economic, political, and social. Three men who have had such significant impressions during The Enlightenment were Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and the Baron de Montesquieu. All three of these extremely intelligent and learned philosophers focused mainly on the field of politics, and their theories were essential to the foundation of many governments all over the world.
The idea that a natural set of laws governs all politics was popular in the 1600's and thoroughly analyzed using the scientific method. One philosopher who did such analysis was Thomas Hobbes. Hobbes believed that an absolute monarchy was undoubtedly the best form of government, and used the themes of natural law to substantiate his argument. He wrote a book, entitled Leviathan, in which he explains why humans cannot survive without a monarch to protect their rights in a natural state.
He wrote that without this type of control, humans would not have the capacity to run a government themselves and in turn there would be chaos. He also asserted that the people should, quid pro quo for a peaceful and safe society, sacrifice all of their personal rights to the monarchy. Hobbes believed that there was no cause worthy of a rebellion against the monarchy. His views were analyzed very carefully and accepted widely in monarchial states.
The monarchy that Hobbes was so confident in, however, was also considered by some to be a violation of natural rights. The philosopher who conceived of this was named John Locke. John Locke based, as Hobbes did, all of his theories and ideas about government on the basic principles of natural law. He also believed...