The Declaration of Independence and the colonists were influenced by many philosophers in multiple ways. The king also influenced the colonists yet he didn’t have any speech close to speak the mind of the colonists such as the philosophers did. The words that were presented on paper from just a person’s thoughts sent a lot of messages in the 1700’s. Multiple of these thoughts on paper mostly had an effect on opinions.
The natural state of mankind before forming a government. Hobbes and Locke both believed in a state of nature. They also both believed in a social contract. Hobbes wanted a government to protect people from each other. Locke wanted a government to protect our natural rights. Hobbes believed that power resided to the Monarch. Locke believed that power resided to the people. Hobbes believed that a government’s power cannot be limited. Locke believed that a government’s power can be limited. Hobbes believed that people do not have the the right to alter a government. Locke believed that people do have the right to alter a government.
When the United States was being founded, the men charged with the creation of this novel system of government drew inspiration from a number of well-known English political philosophers. One of the most overt influences, not merely on the Constitution, but even the Declaration of Independence, was John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government. His depiction of both the State of Nature and its transition into civil society served as the mirror to the American notion and understanding of the purposes of government. Another less discussed but no less intrinsic influence on the founding document came from Thomas Hobbes in his work, Leviathan. Hobbes’ depiction of the role of the sovereign presented a subtle but distinct understanding in the formation
He suggested that man was “born without innate ideas”, and that he began as a tabula rasa, which is a translation for an erased tablet (John Locke: The Mind as a “Tabula Rasa”). This concept of a tabula rasa stated that “people gradually acquired knowledge” from experience. He believed that man could distinguish from good and bad, and that he was also capable of and free to “order his actions and dispose of his possessions” without having to rely on others (Seminar #3: Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau, p. 5). Everyone was equal to each other in terms of “power and jurisdiction being reciprocal”, and “no one having more than another” (p.
It is understood that John Locke played a key role of influence on Thomas Jefferson. This influence can be seen through Jefferson’s writing on the nation’s founding document. This document is called the Declaration of Independence. John Locke, the English Enlightenment philosopher wrote his Two Treatises of Government to refute the belief that kings ruled by divine right and to support the Glorious Revolution of 1688 (Doc 1). This piece of political philosophy provided many explanations for the people’s rights and obligations to overthrow a corrupt government. Specifically, Locke’s ideas from his Two Treatises of Government heavily influenced Thomas Jefferson’s rationale for the propriety of America’s separation from England by expressing a great deal in the right to change the government, human rights trust and strong legislative.
Locke’s ideas from the Two Treatises of Government and An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, were based upon the natural rights where power comes from the people. Both of his pieces contributed to revolutions, most importantly the American Revolution as power from monarchies was removed and democracies were created. Allowed for limited government power and all obligations were to the citizens. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding basis was on how the knowledge existence of God, certain moral truths, and laws of logic or mathematics pertained to the natural rights of
Hobbes developed the ‘social contract theory’, which is the idea that civilians give up some of their freedom and liberty for protection from the leader. This concept, which was used during Hobbes’s time, is still a part of the government today. Hobbes brings down this concept in his world famous book, Leviathan. A picture of a ‘giant’ monarch holding onto a tiny world is used to describe his version of the social contract. The drawing depicts the trade of freedom for safety. His negative and pessimistic point of view on humanity led him to draft this version of the social contract. Hobbes, who lived in the United Kingdom, under the rule of a monarch, affected the government of this time by introducing this idea. His social contract defied a democracy, and favored a monarchy. The monarchs and rulers of his time approved of his draft, whereas rulers later on who believed in a democracy strongly disagreed with this
According to Rousseau, the best form of government is a direct democracy (Robison), but since Ralph fails to establish this form of government, the result is the boys falling into corruption and total chaos. Rousseau believes that civil society causes humans to become corrupt. His philosophy is centered upon the idea of “the general will,” which reflects society’s interest in a common good (Younkins). But individual desires can conflict with the general will, and civil society can actually damage the desire for a common good (Bertram). The general will in Lord of the Flies is the need to build shelters, establish a civilization, and most importantly keep the fire going with the ultimate purpose of rescue. However, the boys stop caring about these goals and Ralph is not able to unite them.
The Enlightenment was critical in many aspects of the colonial America way of life, which commonly affected the politics, government and religion. Without these principles of understanding and the new way of thinking, the United States would have drastically been different since those ideas shaped the country in its infant years. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution was overwhelmingly influenced by The Enlightenment both during and after the American Revolution. Many different concepts came from this new governmental structure such as, freedom of oppression and natural rights. These concepts were influenced by Enlightenment philosophers such as John Locke and Isaac Newton where they helped set a clear path for colonial and present America to follow. This had an enormous influence on not only the way of
Political theorists, whether they are realists, or liberalists, over the centuries, have come into conflict over what they believe to be the utmost important task of the state. Hobbes believes the most important task of the state is to ensure law and order, rooting his argument in the idea of a sovereign ruler. On the other hand, Rawls, a modern theorist, firmly believes that a state should focus on realising justice within their society. While a utopian society cannot be achieved by either of these theories, I will highlight why Rawls was right in his assumption that the main focus of a state should be to ensure justice for all within their nation, through analysing and comparing the conflicting arguments of Hobbes and Rawls.
Let's start with Thomas Hobbes, a famous English philosopher whose ideas are later contradicted by John Locke. Hobbes believed in something called “State of Nature” which is the condition of human beings without political association. There is no government, no authority whatsoever. Every being is born equal and share the right to do anything for their survival. His political theory was based off his idea that all humans are naturally evil and selfish. Hobbes said that this equality leads to war. “...a war of every man against every man.” He believed people act selfishly, so they could not be trusted to make their own decisions. Hobbes said that the only purpose of a government was to protect people from their own evil and
Our society would not be what it is today if it wasn't for the three French philosophers for the individual freedom, freedom in government, religion, economy, and gender equality. John Locke, Voltaire, and Adam Smith were four of the many great philosophers, who changed our society and the shaped the capitalistic democratic world that we live in today. These philosophers lived in a time of bright and amazing new ideas, known as the Age of Enlightenment or the Age of Reason. Here are the main ideas of Enlightenment.
Hobbes and Locke had opposing views and interpretations of men and their state of nature. Hobbes was around during the time that an absolute monarchy was the acceptable type of government for society. This was most acceptable to Hobbes because he believed that if society would leave man in his own state of nature he would be brutish. Also he believed that a government with
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.
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. This state of nature was the conditions in which we lived before there were any political governments to rule over us and it described what societies would be like if we had no government at all. In this essay I will compare the opinions given by each philosopher regarding their understanding of the state and the law. I will also discuss how their theories have influenced our understanding of the law today.