Thomas Hobbes And The Constitutional Struggle

1114 WordsMar 17, 20165 Pages
Thomas Hobbes was born April 5, 1588 in Malmesbery. His father left the family in 1604 and never returned. Hobbes was then raised and educated by the support of his uncle. His younger years of education were received through local schools while his college education in the classics was received from Magdalen Hall, University of Oxford. After he received his education, Thomas Hobbes became the tutor of William Cavendish in 1608. Two years after becoming his tutor, Cavendish and Hobbes travelled to Europe together visiting Germany, France, and Italy. After Cavendish died in 1628, Hobbes obtained another position within the Cavendish family but later became the tutor to William’s son. During those years, Hobbes returned to Europe twice more…show more content…
He remained in voluntary exile for 11 years. During that time he became a tutor for the Prince of Whales who was also exiled. Hobbes believed that without a social contract people would come to live in a state of nature. Meaning that there would be no common way of life and people would live in fear of one another. Without the social contract there would be no authority to set up any laws. People would behave in anarchy and chaos. Society would only act on what benefit themselves instead of each other as a whole. This kind of society would only result in an upright war between the people living among each other. Hobbes perceived the ideal society in his best-known piece of work, Leviathan, publish at the end of his exile in 1651. Throughout four books, the Leviathan argues that civil peace and social unity are best accomplished by establishment of common wealth through a social contract. In the Leviathan, Hobbes’s ideal common wealth is ruled by a sovereign power that is granted absolute authority in order to ensure their responsibility of protecting the common wealth. In his books, Thomas Hobbes portrays the common wealth as a gigantic human, whose form is built out of the bodies of citizens. The sovereign power is considered the head because it is what controls the citizens. Hobbes calls this figure the “Leviathan”, named after a monstrous sea creature that appears in the Bible. His piece
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