During the 17th century, Europe went through political conversation regarding government structure. English philosopher Thomas Hobbes published his document Leviathan during the War of Religion. The War of Religion was a time period in which Europe was trying to establish its religion between Catholic and French Protestants and this process resulted in uproar throughout Europe. Hobbes was exposed to the conflicts of the War in England, which drastically changed his view of government and influenced him to relocate in France. Hobbes’s opinions about politics and government were far different from fellow English philosopher John Locke’s in his document Second Treatise of Government. Locke existed during a much later period in Europe, when the Wars of Religion were over and England had established the Glorious Revolution, a passive agreement between Dutch nobility, William and Mary, and Parliament. The different time periods which Hobbes and Locke lived and what they experienced had major effects on their thoughts about government. Hobbes’ Leviathan and Locke’s Second Treatise of Government had different opinions regarding a man’s state of nature and social contract.
Hobbes and Locke had opposing views and interpretations of man in the state of nature because of the environment in Europe during the time period they lived and government status. In the course of the early 17th century in Hobbes’ time, Europe was in the state of chaos and violence. Hobbes argued that the reason was if society would leave man in his own state of nature, he would be brutish and cause more turmoil between the government and public. This depiction of man left Hobbes in support of an absolutist government. Hobbes explained, “…and the...
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...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.
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