Thomas Hobbes Social Contract  Summary Facts Essay

Research Topics Presentation Tips History Essays Enlightenment Philosophes Hobbs, Thomas

Thomas Hobbes developed the idea of the social contract. Human beings are basically corrupt and need to be controlled. The social contract being that the people give up some of their liberty in exchange for order which is given by the ruler.

The Ruler has absolute power and is given this absolute power by the general consent of the people. This challenged the idea that God gave the ruler power or the Divine right of kings.

The significance of Hobbes social contract is that it spurred more ideas such as Locke’s consent of the governed. It also gave justification to rulers under totalitarian system such as Catherine the Great and Frederick of Prussia because they maintained that they ruled by the general consent of the people. And their part of the contract was to maintain order at all costs.

The idea of the social contract also influenced many western governments. Hobbes consent of the governed would be the people accepting the order established by the sovereign state.