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The Political Theories of Hobbes and Locke In the sixteenth century the rise of the state and decline of the feudal system brought about the question of authority whose is absolute God or man Should the state have power over its subjects or the subjects over the state Soon after the theory of sovereignty and the theory of social contract were developed but even these still drew debate Thomas Hobbes and John Lockes political theories have been influential ever since they were first developed in the late seventeenth century During this time there was an outpouring of political ideas Locke and Hobbess theories stand out Their theories are both psychologically insightful but in nature they are drastically different Although they lived in the same time frame 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 1640s and 1650s Locke drew his ideas from a time where Hobbes did not have the chance to observe the glorious revolution At the time of the exclusion crisis in England Hobbes was either dying or dead These two time periods are very influential in the development of these two mens ideas As you will see Hobbes developed a pessimistic view on man from his dreary and bleak surroundings while Locke developed an optimistic outlook on man from his eventful and promising times Thomas Hobbess greatest work was Leviathan In this Hobbes stated that people by nature are selfish and ambitious He concluded that the only way to restrain mans natural aggression is by implementing an absolute power whose main objective is to keep his subjects in line In this form of government the subject surrender all rights to the state so that it is best equipped to keep peace any way necessary This idea is essential for the transition from mans natural state of chaos to an orderly
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