Page 2 of 2 Graded AssignmentResearch Paper Final Draft(200 points)Type your draft here. Elora CopleyMs. FrischEnglish 113/10/18Foreign influence on The Declaration of IndependenceThe ideas surrounding government in our Declaration of Independence had multiple outside influences stretching from english and french philosophers to historical documents. English philosopher Thomas Hobbes’s ideas, laid out the basis as to why we need a declaration of independence, and why we need to have a government set in place. Hobbes said in his book LETHIAN, that people were incapable of ruling themselves primarily because, “humans are naturally self-centered and quarrelsome and need the iron fist of a strong leader.”
Thomas Hobbes wrote a famous book, The Leviathan, that explained how he thought humans were selfish and needed the government to keep order. He supported an absolute monarchy that could not be overthrown. Baron de Montesquieu said, “ Again, there is no liberty if the power of judging be not separated from the Legislative and Executive powers,” (Doc. 4). This displays how he wanted Separation of Powers, government division to keep one individual from rising to power.
John Locke believed in a democracy and expressed that humans have the ability to govern themselves. However, Hobbes believed that humans are selfish and need a single leader(king) that should govern all affairs. Post French Revolution people lived under Hobbes theory, but wanted to become a democracy.
One his theories, stated in his book called Leviathan said that people are not able rule themselves because of how selfish mankind is and they need to be ruled by an iron fist. His political theory was that was also stated in Leviathan was that we should respect government authority under all circumstances to avoid violence. Hobbes was scared of the outcome of the social contract which meant people could get rid of the government if they were unhappy with what they were getting. In order to make well with the social contract he states in Leviathan that people should be completely obedient to the government. His reasoning was that if there was no government, there would be chaos.
Hobbes’ major ideas involving revolutions fell largely on absolutism and sovereign power. In French Revolution, Hobbes’ prominent idea of sovereign powers is heavily reflected in the French government, as the results of the French Revolution led to changes in the overall power and sovereignty of the government. As the events of the French Revolution occurred and people questioned the French government, the French Declaration of the Rights of Man was developed, with Hobbes’ ideas being expressed in just the third article, “The principle of all sovereignty resides essentially in the nation. No body nor individual may exercise any authority which does not proceed directly from the nation” (Article 3, The French Declaration of the Rights of Man). Proving Hobbes’ idea of sovereignty and its effects of it on the people of France, as it became a French law, this article reflects how Hobbes’ perspectives created expansive notions that spread to the people of France and influenced governmental changes post-revolution.
In contrast to Hobbes, who argues social bonds form to regulate human nature, Rousseau argues that the formation of the civil state results from and in a “change in man,” that humans must of necessity be denatured in the process of forming society. There are similarities between the two’s philosophies, but it is Rousseau, through his arguments that human nature can be changed, who articulates a political vision more consistent with the claim that humans are asocial by nature. In the beginning, the arguments of both Hobbes and Rousseau are similar. Man in nature is isolated.
Thomas Hobbes proposed that the ideal government should be an absolute monarchy as a direct result of experiencing the English Civil War, in which there was internal conflict between the parliamentarians and the royalists. Hobbes made this claim under the assumption that an absolute monarchy would produce consistent policies, reduce conflicts and lower the risk of civil wars due to the singular nature of this ruling system. On another hand, John Locke counters this proposal with the view that absolute monarchies are not legitimate as they are inconsistent with the state of nature. These two diametrically opposed views stem from Hobbes’ and Locke’s different understandings of human nature, namely with regard to power relationships, punishment, and equality in the state of nature. Hobbes’ belief that human beings are selfish and appetitive is antithetical with Locke’s contention that human beings are intrinsically moral even in the state of nature, which results in Locke’s strong disagreement with Hobbes’ proposed absolute monarchy.
Jean-Jacque Rousseau - Comparisons with the above two philosophers and opinions on the State and Law. Jean Jacques Rousseau is the third philosopher I wish to discuss. He was a French-Geneva philosopher who is widely believed to have influenced the enlightenment in France and Europe. During the French revolution Rousseau was one of the most respected and popular political theorists. Rousseau believed that men in the state of nature were the most natural and free they could be before they were corrupted by the unnatural grips of civilization.
Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau have become known as three of the most prominent political theorists in the world today. Their philosophies and innovative thinking is known worldwide and it has influenced the creation of numerous new governments. All three thinkers agree on the idea of a social contract but their opinions differ on how the social contract is established and implemented within each society. These philosophers state, that in order for the social contract to be successful people need to give up certain freedoms in order to secure fundamental protections from the state, henceforth the state then has certain responsibilities to their citizens. Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau all believe that before men were governed we all lived in a state of nature.
When comparing the two different accounts of English philosophers Thomas Hobbes and John Locke we must take into consideration a number of things such as the age in which they lived and the time in which they produced their philosophical writings. We will however find out that these two philosophers actually have a couple of things in which agree on even though most of their opinions clash. On one side we have Thomas Hobbes who lived in the time of the English Civil War (1642-1651) who provides a negative framework for his philosophical opinions in his masterpiece Leviathan and who advocates for philosophical absolutism . On the other side we have John Locke, living during the glorious revolution (1688-1689) he presents a positive attitude in his book The Second Treatise of Government and advocates for philosophical and biblical constitutionalism. It is important that we know that the state of nature describes a pre- political society prior to the social contract.
Everyone has a perspective of their own about the government whether it be good or bad. Ancient Greek philosopher Plato and English philosopher John Locke both discuss the topic of government in their literatures. In the Republic by Plato, Plato introduces this concept of a just city. In this city, he believes that the older and wisest person(s) should rule as they are very knowledgeable. Everyone is born innately different according to Plato.
John Locke is an enlightened political philosopher whose explanations to his ideas remains profoundly influential. Locke believes people should have the right to do anything they want without the government enforcing them to do a task. In The Second Treatise, Locke discusses some vital concepts of his thinking, beginning with a discussion of the State of Nature. He explains that humans move from a state of nature characterized by perfect freedom and are governed by reason to a civil government in which the authority is vested in a legislative and executive power. In the State of Nature, men are born equal, to have perfect liberty to maintain.
Thus, both men would evaluate the statement that “in a legitimate state all men are free and there is no inequality,” differently. Rousseau would mostly disagree, holding that the state itself is the impetus for inequality. Hobbes would largely agree, contending that men are equal both in a primitive state of conflict and under a sovereign’s awesome power. These different responses result from the philosophers’ opposing views on fundamental human nature, civil society’s raison d’etre, and government’s inevitable form. --- Rousseau begins his
Locke's most important and influential political writings are contained in his Two Treatises on Government. The first treatise is concerned almost exclusively with refuting the argument that political authority was derived from religious authority. The second treatise contains Locke’s own constructive view of the aims and justification for civil government. According to Locke, the State of Nature, the natural condition of mankind, is a state of perfect and complete liberty to conduct one's life as one best sees fit, free from the interference of others. This does not mean, however, that it is a state of license: one is not free to do anything at all one pleases, or even anything that one judges to be in one’s interest.
Secondly, it will assess some of the opponent views to repressive government being the sure maintenance of political and social order. Furthermore an assessment of whether the theories of Hobbes are still relevant to the current understanding of International Relations considering the events and processes in this particular stage. Thomas Hobbes has commonly been classified as a realist because of his pessimistic perception that the fundamental instinct of all mankind is