Machiavelli, And Thomas Hobbes ' Concept Of Ideal Government Essay example

Machiavelli, And Thomas Hobbes ' Concept Of Ideal Government Essay example

Length: 1314 words (3.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Anna Laskowski
Student id:141826220
BF190- Midterm Writing Assignment
Dr. Charles Wells
Due: October 1, 2014


Nicolo Machiavelli, and Thomas Hobbes’ Concept of Ideal Government

An effective leader is one that understands that a society must evolve and revolutionize, in order to meet the needs of the state that are of immediate concern. As a society we are able to build off prior knowledge of once existing methods of living, and adjust them to meet current demands. Both Thomas Hobbes, and Nicolo Machiavelli’s concept, and perception of an ideal sovereign remains present in current forms of government. Machiavelli’s ideas in The Prince indicate that it is simple for any civilian to gain, and maintain power ([1513] 2012). However, these methods may not always be ethical. In contrast, Hobbes indicates through Leviathan ([1651] 2013), that all members of the state should honour their sovereign because they sustain a unified calm amongst citizens. Ultimately, through their evaluation of fear of punishment, and (satisfying )human’s self-interest, both men shifted the way of thinking of higher power for many citizens.
To begin, Machiavelli strongly supports the idea that a leader should remain courageous, and never allow individuals to identify weaknesses in their ruling. This is indicated when he states, “...But the scanty wisdom of man, on entering an affair which looks well at first, cannot discern the poison that is hidden in it” (Machiavelli [1513] 2012). I believe Machiavelli says this because revealing weaknesses to your subjects allows them to consider the possibility of overthrowing you. Furthermore, Machiavelli’s objective with The Prince is to advise individuals on how to retain power, ...

... middle of paper ...

... [1651] 2013). Through the achievement of a sovereign, society will avoid reverting back to a state of chaos. Secondly, he presents the idea of a democratic government, in which members of the state make a unified decision on who represents them(Hobbes [1651] 2013). This method of government is still present, and highly effective to this day. It allows individuals who are in power to
stay in power, because they represent the majority who viewed them as worthy enough to gain sovereignty. Ultimately, Hobbes presents ideas of a more proper-functioning society, while avoiding the concept of violence as a means to retain power.


Hobbes, Thomas. 1651. Levathan. Project Gutenberg Canada, 2013. http://

Machiavelli, Nicolo. 1513. The Prince.Project Gutenberg Canada, 2012. http://

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Force, Morality and Rights in Thomas Hobbes and John Locke's Social Contract Theories

- Force, Morality and Rights in Thomas Hobbes and John Locke's Social Contract Theories Throughout history, the effects of the unequal distribution of power and justice within societies have become apparent through the failure of governments, resulting in the creation of theories regarding ways to balance the amount of power given and the way in which justice is enforced. Due to this need for change, Thomas Hobbes and John Locke created two separate theories in which the concept of a social contract is used to determine the ways in which a government can govern without forfeiting justice....   [tags: Social Contract Hobbes Locke Essays]

Strong Essays
1630 words (4.7 pages)

A Comparison Of Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, And Marx 's Views On Minority Rights

- On Minority Rights A Comparison of Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Burke and Marx Minority right was not well discussed in the early liberalism works. However, it becomes more important when more states had a mix of people of different identities. This paper will first investigate how Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau’s goal to unify people harms the minority. Then, it will compare Burke’s conservatism with their liberalism, and show how Burke’s theory, by embracing the traditions, leaves room for the minority rights....   [tags: Political philosophy, Jean-Jacques Rousseau]

Strong Essays
1335 words (3.8 pages)

Essay on Leviathan: With Selected Variants From The Latin Edition of 1668

- Although Hobbes is a liberal thinker in some respects his ideas presented in the Leviathan resemble that of a monarchy. Hobbes asserts that the commonwealth can fall under three types of regimes “when the representative is one man, then it is the commonwealth a monarchy... assembly of all... a democracy... assembly of a part only... aristocracy” (L 19.1). However despite this, Hobbes proclaims that monarchic rule is superior since “the private interest is the same with the public” (L19.4). Hobbes posits that people within the state of nature require a Leviathan in order to rein since the state of nature is anarchic....   [tags: Hobbes, monarchy, commonwealth, governing]

Strong Essays
959 words (2.7 pages)

Natural Law and Civil Law Essay

- Leviathan as bearer of supreme authority and nationals who posses certain inalienable rights. We should draw attention to Hobbes’ reasoning about natural law and civil or positive law. According to Hobbes they both match with scope, form and content. However, natural law, which is impartial, equitable, legitimate, and moral in natural state is not the law itself; it just disposes people to peace, mercy, and obedience. Natural law is the laws that have existed and will exist forever. Governors and judges come and go, but natural law will exist forever because it is divine law....   [tags: supreme authority, Thomas Hobbes]

Strong Essays
918 words (2.6 pages)

Absolutism As A Form Of Government Essay

- Absolutism is defined as a form of government where the monarch rules their land freely without legal opposition. In modern times, when democracy is the ideal, this form of government seems cruel and tyrannical; however, there was an era when it thrived in European politics. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, absolute rule was justified by the concept of divine right and its improvements to the security and efficiency of a nation. Divine right was a widespread idea under absolutist government: the concept that a king’s power was derived from God, and that kings therefore had the power to act as God on Earth....   [tags: Monarchy, Absolute monarchy, Political philosophy]

Strong Essays
756 words (2.2 pages)

The Relationship Between The Government And The Citizens Of A Body Politic

- Since my previous reflection, I have continued to operate the 24-Hour Hotline with the Domestic Abuse Project each weekend, which entails answering calls that report domestic abuse in Minneapolis, and providing immediate follow up and resources for the victims. Along with Locke and Hobbes, I have also been able to connect my work with the philosophers read in the second half of this course. Specifically, I have made connections between the purpose of the Domestic Abuse Project and Rousseau’s understanding of human life and the role of the government, which primarily focus on the importance of one’s ability to self-govern in pursuit of the common good....   [tags: Abuse, Child abuse, Physical abuse, Victim]

Strong Essays
1341 words (3.8 pages)

Evolution Of Government By Thomas Hobbes Essay

- Evolution of Government 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....   [tags: Thomas Hobbes, Political philosophy]

Strong Essays
1172 words (3.3 pages)

The Influence of Locke and Hobbes on Government Essay

- Thomas Hobbes and John Locke have authored two works that have had a significant impact on political philosophy. In the “Leviathan” by Hobbes and “Two Treatises of Government” by Locke, the primary focus was to analyze human nature to determine the most suitable type of government for humankind. They will have confounding results. Hobbes concluded that an unlimited sovereign is the only option, and would offer the most for the people, while for Locke such an idea was without merit. He believed that the government should be limited, ruling under the law, with divided powers, and with continued support from its citizens....   [tags: Hobbes vs Locke]

Strong Essays
1741 words (5 pages)

Hobbes And Rousseau 's Theory Essay

- Hobbes and Rousseau were different in many ways. The two men had polar opposite thoughts on the world, and their theories are both sensible. Hobbes lived in fear of the parliament, because he strongly believed in a monarchy government. Rousseau believed in a self-government, or a democracy. He believes that a man is born free and society and the government ties the free man down. Hobbes believes that “humans are selfish egoist, life is tragic, and morality and strong government are necessary to constraint humans and provide a deterrent against mischief” (Pojman, 110)....   [tags: Political philosophy, Government, Thomas Hobbes]

Strong Essays
1798 words (5.1 pages)

Aristotle, Machiavelli, And Hobbes Essay

- Theories of human nature, as the term would ever so subtly suggest, are at best only individual assertions of the fundamental and intrinsic compositions of mankind, and should be taken as such. Indeed it can be said that these assertions are both many and widespread, and yet too it can be said that there are a select few assertions of the nature of man that rise above others when measured by historical persistence, renown, and overall applicability. These eclectic discourses on the true nature of man have often figured largely in theories of political science, typically functioning as foundational structures to broader claims and arguments....   [tags: Political philosophy, Thomas Hobbes, Government]

Strong Essays
1286 words (3.7 pages)