Rousseau Vs Hobbes

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During the Constitutional Period of the United States, America’s governmental system underwent a long journey of development and growth. Even in the country’s first stages of development, many factors such as taxation and civil liberties played a large role in America’s drive for independence from Britain and the establishment of a separate government. Not only this, but the ideals of John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Jean Jacques Rousseau, and Charles de Montesquieu were able to influence the American people and form of government. However, it is also important to recognize the imperfections of America’s first form of government, the Articles of Confederation, and how both the ratification and the Constitutional Convention were necessary to the overall…show more content…
For example, Thomas Hobbes, an English philosopher who wrote Leviathan, argued that because people live in a “war of all against all,” an absolute government with a supreme ruler was needed to keep everyone in line. Without an absolute monarch, Hobbes believed that the state of nature would only result in complete chaos and violence. Locke, on the other hand, argued against powerful kings and believed that popular consent and majority rule were essential parts of a government. Although people can exist in a state of nature with any ruler, Locke believed that the human desire for self preservation and property will result in a longing for government and stability. Not only this, but Locke believed that the duty of the government is to respect and protect the rights of life, liberty, and property. However, Locke did not believe in an all-powerful government and believed that the government should separate its powers with competing legislative and executive branches. Although these two views are conflicting, both Hobbes and Locke were able to articulate both the advantages and disadvantages of an all powerful government. Because of the oppression that the colonists were feeling under Britain, the words of Locke greatly influenced their governments beliefs and increased the
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