Thomas Hobbes Second Treatise Of Government

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Who Should Hold Ultimate Authority? The Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes and Second Treatise of Government by John Locke were both written in times of governmental crisis. During Hobbes’ time, England was experiencing the Protestant Reformation. Approximately fifty years later, John Locke was attempting to demolish the Divine Right of Kings. The Second Treatise of Government is written to show support of a parliamentary system, so it is obvious why Locke would not support a king or sovereign ruling over the people. Previous to the writing of this book, Locke had written the First Treatise on Government, which attempted to discredit Sir Robert Filmer’s argument for the Divine Right of Kings. When comparing the two writings, there are differences …show more content…
In the seventeenth chapter of The Leviathan, Hobbes describes what happens when the person enter the commonwealth. “….to appoint on man, or Assembly of men…to be the Author of whatsoever he that so beareth their person, shall Act, or cause to be acted, in those things that concern the common peace and safety; and therein to submit their wills, everyone to his will, and their judgement, to his judgement” (Hobbes 1968, 227). In this passage, Hobbes is discussing the creation of the artificial person. The state needs an actor, which will eventually be recognized as a sovereign. In Hobbes’ theory, the sovereign has supreme power because the people surrender their rights when they enter the commonwealth. He does not incur any costs and cannot injure or do injustice to the subjects. Everything the sovereign does is right by definitions because the people have already authorized it through the relationship between the actor, which would be the sovereign, and the people who would act as an author. The sovereign has the power to make, interpret, and enforce laws. Therefore, he cannot be held subject to the laws of his own

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