Hobbes and Locke: the end of divine right monarchy and a confessional state

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  • Created on: 28-04-20 17:02
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  • Hobbes and Locke: the end of divine right monarchy and a confessional state
    • Thomas Hobbes
      • Born in 1588, he had been closesly assosiated with Francis Bacon and Galileo.
        • He wrote about mathmatics and science but is bet known for his philosophy works.
        • He left England in 1640 and lived in Paris until 1652.
          • In 1651, he produced his best known work 'Leviathan'.
            • Questioned the divine right of kings by arguing that the right to rule was not granted by God, but through social contract.
            • Power was granted by the people, and monarchs could therefore be removed if they broke this social contract.
            • The final section of the work was a justification of the submission to England's new republican regime.
              • Hobbes argued that Charles couldn't protect the English people, thus they were compelled to obey the new state (new social contract).
              • Furthermore, the new republican state has as much authority as the monarchy (social contract).
            • Also put forward the idea of absolute sovereignty (power).
              • Where a state was legitimised if it could protect the people under it's power.
    • Restoration and the Glorious Revolution
      • The Restoration saw the reinposition of the monarchy and the idea of divine right monarchy and a confessional state
        • Confessional state = officially practices a particular religion.
        • During the European Reformation and the Catholic Counter-Reformation many countries became confessional states.
          • Adopted either Protestantism or Catholicism as the state religion, and imposed it on the entire population.
        • The GR of 1688 finally undermined divine right monarchy and the confessional state.
          • This was because William III and Mary II agreed to rule in accordance with the laws of Parliament.
      • In religion, there was a broadening of comprehension that brought an end to the confessional Anglican Church (which was reinposed at the Restoration).
        • The Toleration Act of 1689 exempted dissenters from the penal laws if they took an oath of allegiance.
          • However, Catholicism remained outlawed and England remained formally a Protestant country
            • The monarch remained the head of the state and also head of the Protestant state church.
    • John Locke
      • He spent most of the 1670+80's on the European continent, only returning to England in 1689, after the GR.
        • It was only at this point that Locke's most famous work was publish, although anonymously.
          • It was called 'Two Treaties of Government'
          • It was written in the political context of people being scared of Charles II + James II's growing power.
            • Written in an anti-absolutist response to Filmer's 'Patriarcha', which was in support of the divine right of kings.
      • Locke focused on the following in support of the argument for exclusion.
        • This was also used for resistance to the Catholic James II.
        • Included:
          • -Contractual theory of government.
            • A contract was in place between the monarch and the people to prevent absolutism.
          • -Equality of Man
            • All men deserved to be treated equally, no matter their status.
          • -Popular sovereignty
            • Power was held by the people.
          • -The law of nature
            • Certain rights and values were inherently set by nature, meaning that a monarch could not be absolutist.
          • -Right of resistance
            • People had the right to resist a monarch acting tyrannically.
      • Locke's work produced little reaction at the time.
        • Only became more widely read in the eighteenth century.
          • His theories acquired new significance and more readers as a result of America's struggle for independance in the 1770's.


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