Essay on How Social Contract Changed The World

1396 Words Dec 5th, 2015 6 Pages

The social contract has been profoundly tackled throughout the history, starting with the ancient times. The difficulties between the government and its people particularly arise when both try to decide what a legitimate connection ought to incorporate them and, consequently, what would bring everyone towards common agreements. In order to understand why social contract comes into the debate with 16th-17th century philosophers, it would be helpful to reflect on the historical background. Prior to the Enlightenment, the European governments were “divinely absolute,” i.e. it meant that the king possessed the divine rights which exempted his authority from the outside. The king, essentially, possessed all the authority on his own. He could impart his legislature independent of any earthly jurisdiction which signified that king was chosen by God and thus was “equalized” with the divine authority. However, once the Reformation hits in the beginning of the 16th century, it starts questioning the Catholic Church authority and seeing how corrupted it is, the Reformation shifts away from it, simultaneously calling the divine rights into question. Thus the society being structured according to the church tradition to which it had submitted, starts changing. When the church begins to lose her authority, her role overall notably diminishes within the cultural, political, scientific and governmental structures. Ergo, following the Reformation, the Enlightenment rapidly…

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