An Analysis of 

Thomas Hobbes and John Locke

Sally Morris

EDS 440

Maggie Robillard

Spring 2016

Social Contract

From where does governmental power originate?

How much authority should the government have over the individual?

Thomas Hobbes

  • 1588-1679
  • Absolutism

  • Rejected divine right absolutism

  • Leviathan 1651

  • Backdrop of the English civil war (1642-1651)

Philosophical Absolutism

  • Absolute government is best
  • Leviathan 1651
  • State of Nature - State of War
  • Solitary, Poor, Nasty, Brutish, & Short Lives
  • English Civil War

John Locke

  • 1632-1704
  • Philosophical and biblical constitutionalism
  • Limited government
  • Two treatises of government 1689


  • Limitation of government by law
  • Natural Rights (from God)
    • Life
    • Liberty
    • Property
  • State of Nature
  • Right of Revolution
  • Glorious Revolution (1688)

Compare & Contrast


  • Government is to protect us from ourselves
  • Sovereignty  resides with the absolute ruler--with unlimited power 


  • The original state is the state of nature
  • Government should be established by social contract


  • Government is to protect our natural rights
  • Sovereignty resides with the people--with a right to revolution

Let's Think

  • Quiz-Quiz-Trade Activity
    • You will receive 2 cards. You should read them to yourself quietly and decide whether the quote is from Hobbes or Locke. Use your graphic organizer to help. (the answer is on the back of your card)
    • Next, I will announce that you should hands up - pair up. Read your quote to your partner and have them guess the answer. When both of you have gone, trade cards and find a new partner.
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by sally16morris


Public - 4/25/16, 9:01 PM