Views of Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau

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Arden Bentley
AP Euro
3/9/13
Thomas Hobbes, John Locke and Jean-Racques Rosseau were philosophers who stated their belief of human nature and how we should govern mankind. Although Rousseau was born a different time than Hobbes and Locke, they all had a very strong influence on the way governments should function. They created a revolutionary idea of the state of nature, the way men were before a government came into play. Each philosopher developed guidelines and responsibilities that the government is obliged to. Although proposing different views and ideas, they all contributed significant ideas to society.

Thomas Hobbes, Jock Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau all differed on their views of government. Thomas Hobbes described the state of nature for man is "nasty, brutish and short." In order to escape this, people must give up freedom to receive peace and order by the protection of the government. Hobbes believed in an absolute monarchy. Order could only be established with a ruler holding absolute power. The state was there to prevent people from attacking and killing each other. His structure of a government was to prevent chaos and violence. Just like Hobbes, John Locke believed there was a need to establish order; however, he saw a different way to achieve this. He had a more optimistic perspective on human kind. People should give up some rights to attain protection, like Hobbes' outlook of the social contract, but if the government does not fulfill its duty, the people must change it. Rebellion was only justified if the ruler lost the consent of his people. Hobbes believed that it was never justified. John Locke believed in any type of representative government such as a republic, constitutional monarchy or democracy. Jean-Jacques Rousseau had been considered by some the prophet of democracy. Rousseau believed in the General Will, the decision of the majority, because what is best for all is best for an individual. He said people enslaved in the...
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