Bishop Bossuet Thomas Hobbes Essay Research Paper

Bishop Bossuet, Thomas Hobbes, Essay, Research Paper

English Civil War and Glorious Revolution followed the Dutch revolt

against Spain as the second of the Western Revolutions that ended absolute

monarchy and finally led to democratic representative government. As

tradition had it that the English leaders in 1641-49 and 1688-89 that their acts

were revolutionary. Parliament chopped of the head of one king and replaced

him by another because of the traditional liberties of England. Statesmen

and pamphleteers arguing for royalist, parliamentary, or radical principals

made this a impressionable period of modern political thought. The Three

main theorists of the time Bishop Bossuet, Thomas Hobbes, and John Locke

had similarities and differences between their beliefs.

Bishop Bossuet was a tutor to Louis XIV s son in the 1670s, and the

most religious and the main theorist of the king s absolutism. He believed that

the royal power is absolute. That the king does not even need to give an

account of his day to anyone, and so it is not possible for writers to try to

write about the confusing subjects of absolute government and arbitrary

government. In addition, he believed that if the king does not have absolute

power he is not able to conduct a advantageous act for the state or put down

evil and rebellions. The king he believed is not a private person, but a public

one, which has the state and will of people with him. As all perfection and

all strength is united in God, so all the power of individuals is united in the

person of the prince . He found it magnifying that one man could manifest so

much control and power.

Thomas Hobbes was an English philosopher and political theorist and

one of the first modern Western thinkers to provide a non-religious

justification for the political state. Hobbes wrote the Leviathan which distilled

the political insights of the civil war. Hobbes saw in humanity a perpetual

and restless desire of power after power. He believed that without authority

to impose law by force that society would fall apart into a war of every man

against every man. In addition he believed that life without government was

solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. Hobbes from this contract theory

drew government conclusion opposite to those of the Huegnots and Cromwell

and his army, who had said that king is king by contract and had cut off

Charles head for going against the contract. Hobbes believed that the society

should obey the sovereign because the sovereign could maintain order. To

ensure the keeping of order he believed that the Sovereign s power had to be

absolute and unquestioned. Thus, Hobbes took contract theory and

transformed it into justification of free and elective power.

John Locke, was a friend of the Earl of Shaftesburg who had

founded the Whig Party, provided a theoretical foundation for what

Parliament had done and for the succeeding development of representative

government. He probably wrote most of his Civil Government: Two Treaties

when he was in political exile in Holland. In it he answered Thomas Hobbs

justification of absolute sovereignty with a convincing theory of limited

government. Locke s first principle was that all individuals have a natural

right to life, liberty, and property. Locke got the rest of his theories from

this premise of natural rights, and from a more hopeful human nature.

Locke also introduced a new way of government organization. He imposed a

separation of power that would let the elected representatives of the people to

check a tyrannical executive. He marked property as the basis of all freedom

and the purpose of government itself.

Bossuet, Hobbes, and Locke all argued that government was a contract

in which humanity exchanged the anarchy of the state of nature for the

security that government provided. Bossuet, believed in the absolute power of

the king and that all the king should be a public person having all the power

and strength of the people. Hobbes believed that the sovereign should have

absolute power, because he believed that society should agree to obey the

sovereign in order to maintain peace. Thus, they both believed that their

should be a figure that has power over the people. On the other hand, Locke

was more pessimistic than Hobbes, deriving his system from more pessimistic

views of human nature than Hobbes. Locke believed in natural rights allowing

to limit the power of the government, emphasized that property is the basis of

all freedom, and that a government that acted without consent, went against

the contract and gave the right to the subjects to revolution. Above all, he

believed that the citizens followed the rights of a region and in return the

government was a contract that provided them with security.



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