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Social Contract

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The Social Contract
The Age of Enlightenment was a period of reason, discovery, and knowledge. In the 17th century, Europe created a movement that supported personal intellect, skepticism, and individualism. People resisted traditional notions and set out to think for themselves and develop new ways of interpreting life. In this new age of reason, society’s origin was questioned and this resulted in a new philosophy. The Social Contract is a theory that explains the relationship between individuals and authority. There are many different viewpoints on how this theoretical contract originated and how it should be upheld. New enlightened thinkers Thomas Hobbes, John Lock, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau publically shared their views on the Social Contract.
The Leviathan, published in 1651, was the first written work to argue certain interpretations of a social contract. Thomas Hobbes used this publication to explain to the world why an absolute government was necessary for the advancement of civilization and individualism. According to Hobbes, before laws and government were established, men existed in a “state of nature”. The hypothetical state of nature describes the condition in which people lived before a civil society. Hobbes believed that this state was full of chaos, fear, and self-reliance. Men were free to do as they pleased and there was no order to ensure their protection. In order to maintain a beneficial society, men would have to surrender their rights and freedoms to an authority in exchange for protection of life and freedom. One individual, a monarch, would have absolute power over the community and his rule is not to be questioned. Hobbes knew that monarchy rule did not always offer the best results but he did believe that it was better than returning to a war-bound state of nature.
In Two Treatises of Government, John Locke expresses his disagreement…...

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