John Locke

Essay by xyzzzzzzHigh School, 10th gradeA+, April 2005

download word file, 6 pages 4.2 1 reviews

Downloaded 91 times

Every person in the world has each its own understanding of the world around them and the government that will be administrated over them. After the English Civil War, the events that resulted led not only to changes in government but also to new ideas about the government as well. The insurgent activities that had occurred during the 1600's challenged many philosophers to think about whether English people had the right to rebel against Charles I in 1642 and James II in 1688. The uncertainty hanging in the air was could a ruler lawfully be overthrown by his subjects? This was the case that caused many philosophers to debate over.

Thomas Hobbes was an English philosopher who had lived during the civil right and was greatly perturbed by the disarray that had ensued. The repulsion of civil war convinced him that all humans were naturally impious. People would give free reign to their evil ways if they were left to themselves.

He believed governments were created to protect people from their own selfishness. The best government was one that had the awesome power of a sea monster, the leviathan. Since the chief purpose of a government was to stop society from falling in to disorder, an absolute monarchy, having complete power, was best.

Hobbes wrote his most famous work, Leviathan in 1651, two years after Charles I was beheaded. Living through the civil war had caused him to be disturbed by the chaos it created. He set forth his philosophy in his book. He explained that groups of people first lived in anarchy, what he called a "state of nature". Life was violent and dangerous under these circumstances, so people chose a leader to rule them. In order to preserve a secure society, people made an understood, unwritten social...