Absolutism and the age of reason
The film Cromwell presented a biased interpretation of its titled character. The film portrays Cromwell as a devout Puritan. Illustrated by a scene where Cromwell practiced iconoclasm in a church, he destroyed crosses and other religious ornaments. While this scene effectively demonstrated Cromwell’s religiosity, the film failed to foreshadow Cromwell’s religious extremism and horrendous treatment of Catholics during his reign as the Lord Protector. In Ireland, Cromwell allowed the slaughter of Catholics at Drogheda and Wexford. This religiously driven war crime damaged Anglo-Irish relations for centuries. His religious beliefs also led to a ban on religious celebrations like Christmas. These policies do not …show more content…
After the Civil War, the film showed the discontent among the commoners as the new parliament failed to represent their interests. But the film did not include the opinions of the masses following Cromwell’s ascension to Protector. Implying the end of civil unrest and the reforms enacted in Cromwell’s government. When in fact, Cromwell was not the champion of democratic rights, he once said to a purged Parliament, “Government, is for the people's good, not what pleases them”. Nor was he a staunched republican. When he was offered the Crown by Parliament in the film, Cromwell is seen to reject the proposal immediately. But in reality, Cromwell took three months to make his decision. The film exaggerates Cromwell’s response to show the audience how anti-monarchical he was. The rejection of the crown would insult his republican officers and perhaps limit his power as head of state. As the role of the crown was more defined than his future office of Lord Protector, thus political expedience possibly played a part in his rejection of kingship. The vagueness of the power of the Lord Protector strays away from the constitutionalism Cromwell stood for in the film, and shows Cromwell willing to sacrifice constitutional principles in order to rule effectively. The film also did not highlight the fact that Cromwell intended the Protectorate to be hereditary, and have his son …show more content…
Locke claims that people are reasonable and inherently good. He believes all people are born equal and are entitled to basic rights such as the right to life, liberty and property. He believed in the social contract theory, he stated that governments should protect individual rights and freedoms, but the people should change the government if it does not serve the people. He believed in religious toleration as well as limited government. On the other hand, Hobbes believed that people are born evil and must be controlled by an absolutist state. An absolutist state that offers protection for its citizens and prevents societal chaos. Hobbes also believed in the social contract theory, which states that the people should give up their freedom in order for the government to provide order and protection. However, Hobbes did not think the people had the right to revolt against the government. I identity with Locke’s philosophy the most. Growing up in a democracy, I believe the government should be representative of the people it governs. I think that humans are born with certain genetic and traits that define us, but we are all open to societal conditioning that mold us accordingly. I think a limited government with checks on its power is the safest, most stable form of government. I strongly disagree with Hobbes’ notion that the people are not entitled to revolt
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Both Thomas Hobbes and John Locke are well-known political philosophers and social contract theorists. Social Contract Theory is, “the hypothesis that one’s moral obligations are dependent upon an implicit agreement between individuals to form a society.” (IEP, Friend). Both Hobbes and Locke are primarily known for their works concerning political philosophy, namely Hobbes’ Leviathan and Locke’s Two Treatise of Government. Both works contain a different view of a State of Nature and lay out social contracts designed to neutralize the chaos inherent in that state. Though Hobbes and Locke have a different understanding of the State of Nature, they share similar social contracts, except with regards to representation and the role of the government through the State of Nature.
Thomas Hobbes and John Locke grew up around the same time, so naturally they must have many similarities, but the environment they grew up in resulted in many differences as well. Hobbes grew up during the English Civil War, which shaped his ideas while Locke lived through the Revolution of 1688 which was when a king was overthrown for being unjust and that helped form his ideas. Hobbes and Locke both said that the state of nature is bad and some order is always needed. The difference between their beliefs is the type of government that should be in place to maintain order that is needed to manage stable lives.
Although Hobbes and Locke agree that all people are equal, they perceive natural rights and human nature in very different ways. Hobbes believed that people innately love liberty and dominion over others and that men fight due to three “principal causes”: “competition,” which results in men invading for “gain;” “insecurity,” which makes men invade for “safety;” and “glory,” which makes men invade for “reputation.” He states that men are natural...
King Henry VIII is considerable the most controversial monarch Great Britain has ever had. He is commonly known for his ill-advised decisions, six wives, and splitting Great Britain from the Catholic Church to create the Church of England. King Henry VIII of England’s determination to guarantee his family line’s continuation in the throne caused many problems, such as religious tensions, economic hardships, and political adversaries that continued one long after his death.
In many ways Hobbes and Locke’s conclusions on man and society create a polarizing argument when held in comparison to each other. For instance the two make wildly conflicting assertions concerning mankind’s capacity to foster and achieve organized society. Hobbes asserts humans cannot be trusted to govern themselves lest they fall into war and chaos; Locke, on the other hand concludes almost the exact opposite. Despite the polarity in each man’s train of thought, both philosophies share a common ancestor: a state defined by total equality where no human is superior or holds dominance over another. Although this is the base of both theories, it is the only similarity between the two. This commonality can be illustrated when tracing each argument deductively from their conclusions, the comparison reveals that the heaviest and most base opposition in each mans philosophy is his assertions regarding the nature of human beings.
These differences affect the livelihood and happiness of people. Hobbes wanted a government to prevent chaos and anarchy as he saw all men were selfish after his experience with the Civil War, while Locke wanted a government to protect everyone’s natural rights. Hobbes Monarch with an absolute ruler, Is different than Locke’s idea of a constitutional government. Hobbes absolute ruler theory forced people to behave themselves, and protected them from killing each other, Locke’s constitutional theory protected their lives, their liberty, and their property. These are different because, while Locke agrees with protecting peoples lives such as Hobbes did, he also believed more than just lives should be protected. Another difference between Hobbes and Locke was their belief if power should be limited. Since Hobbes believed in an absolute ruler, and his idea of government formed a Monarchy, the people were to give up their sovereignty for their own good to the absolute ruler. This gave the absolute ruler unlimited power, which prevented the people from over throwing him. While Locke’s idea of government, which was formed to aid the protection of peoples natural rights and not only to protect themselves from one another, limited the power of the government and gave people the right to over throw the government if they failed to protect their natural rights. Their
...at should the people do? With Rebellion against the Government that is abusive to the people. Hobbes mentions because people had no say in their Government, they could do nothing if the monarch were abusive. But Locke the people had the right to revolt against an abusive government. With both of these views we see one side saying that people should revolt if they feel like there rights are violated while the other side thinks more on the lines that people shouldn’t do anything because you rights are decide by the government. But could people be trusted to govern themselves? Hobbes said No, people could be trusted to govern themselves and an absolute monarch would demand obedience in to maintain order. But Locke says yes, people could be trusted to govern themselves, he believed that if provided with the right information would make good decisions should be fine.
Under the reign of Elizabeth I, England enjoyed a period of religious toleration. However, near the end of her reign, a growing religious minority, the Puritans, became increasingly critical of her policies, believing that she was still too close to Catholicism. These grievances were magnified when Elizabeth's successor, James I, a devout Anglican, proved to be far less tolerant and tactful. Furthermore, James was accused of abusing his royal authority by attempting to undermine Parliament. The growing tension between Anglicans and Puritans worsened under James' son, Charles I, who repeatedly angered a Parliament in which the House of Commons had gained a significant Puritan influence. In response, the Puritans, led by Oliver Cromwell, called for a reformation of the church, including the abolition of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer and a ban on bishops voting in the House of Lords. When Charles attempted to dispel the situation by arresting five Commons leaders, loyalties in the country split and the English Civil War began.
Locke expressed the ideal that men are created equal and nevertheless men will flourish with independence and freedom, “no one having more than another” (Locke 101). In this way, Locke believes that an individual should have the capability to find happiness through equality and human freedoms. Even with these naturally positive and good qualities, Locke believes that there are potential for bad tendencies within man. With this possibility for negative attributes, a government is essential to protect them from themselves and to guarantee that equality will prosper. He introduces the main ideas that govern a community, “Life, Liberty and Property” (Locke 101). These are the freedoms that every individual within the community should have, and the government should follow these rights because mankind is naturally good. Hobbes opposes this view and believes that men are naturally immoral and base actions on personal desires rather than the greater good. Hobbes expresses, “So that in the nature of man we find three principal causes of quarrel: first, competition; secondly, diffidence; thirdly, glory” (Hobbes 99). These three principles are the reasons for confrontation, and they are also inevitable. Men act on their desires for wealth and power and also create enemies. In his work Leviathan Hobbes explains that “from [man’s] equality of ability arises equality of hope in the attaining of
When looking at human nature through the eyes of John Locke, right away one notes that his belief differs greatly from that of Hobbes as he shares a much more optimistic viewpoint. Locke believes that man is born with a clean slate, rather than the pre-conceived sentiment of evil and offers valuable insight into man that is not purely based on conflict. In contrast to Hobbes, Locke believes in a different state of man; that man should not harm one another, or do anything to stop one from achieving their goals in life. Through this, he views human nature as not to be self-serving or to be engaged in a battle against one another for each other’s possessions or resources, as resources are limited. It is better to share
...en are evil in their state of nature and that the public should not have control in the government system. This was a part of Hobbes’s social contract in which he makes the agreement that man must obey the laws and rules of the absolutist government. Although the theory worked for Hobbes during the time period he lived, Locke had a different approach in government in which society was more involved. Locke described man as a rational human being who pursued almost identical characteristics to an authority. Locke argued that a monarch was the best way to run a government, but he argued that the people had the right to express how they felt about their ruler as a whole. Both Hobbes and Locke had different interpretations of government with their opinions about man in society and these opinions are what shaped their ideal forms and individual participation of government.
The understanding of the state of nature is essential to both theorists’ discussions. For Hobbes, the state of nature is equivalent to a state of war. Locke’s description of the state of nature is more complex: initially the state of nature is one of “peace, goodwill, mutual assistance and preservation”. Transgressions against the law of nature, or reason which “teaches mankind that all being equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty and possessions,” are but few. The state of nature, according to Locke’s Treatise, consists of the society of man, distinct from political society, live together without any superior authority to restrict and judge their actions. It is when man begins to acquire property that the state of nature becomes somewhat less peaceful.
Lockes and Hobbes ideas of government differed greatly, Hobbes believed in an absolute government while Locke believed in a very limited one.Locke believed that people were naturally good and trustful and that they had the capacity to govern themselves. So the need of the government only came in the form of stopping any potential disputes that would occur. While Hobbes believed that humans were not all that good and their need for government stemmed from the fact that people cannot govern themselves. Furthermore Locke believed that the governments role was to listen to the people it was governing, a rule by consent. While Hobbes believed that the Government was to rule on it’s own and owed no answers or consent by the people. Moreover Locke believed that the purpose of the government was to protect the property and freedom of its people, while Hobbes believed that the governments role was to tell them what to do. But arguably the biggest difference between the philosophies is the notion of government accountability. Hobbes believed that the government had free reign to do what they please with no backlash, while Locke believed that if the social contract was broken then the people of the community had the right to revolt and over throw the government. To further this point Locke unlike Hobbes believed that leaders should
Oliver Cromwell was a well known military dictator. He helped the Parliamentarians win the First Civil War and was named Lord Protector. He died in 1658 but many people still remember him as one of the best leaders in history although others believe he was a harsh tyrant and always wanted too much power for himself. Throughout the years, numerous historians have changed their views on whether he was a good leader or not. This work will look at three interpretations from different people on who Cromwell was and what he was like and compare them.
Their theories are both psychologically insightful, but in nature, they are drastically different. Although they lived in the same timeframe, their ideas were derived from different events happening during this time. Hobbes drew his ideas on man from observation, during a time of civil strife in Europe during the 1640's and 1650's. Locke drew his ideas from a time where Hobbes did not have the chance to observe the, glorious revolution. In uncivilized times, in times before government, Hobbes asserted the existence of continual war with "every man, against every man." On this point, Locke and Hobbes were not in agreement. Locke, consistent with his philosophy, viewed man as naturally moral.