Thomas Hobbes' Ideas On Monarchy Essay

1264 words - 5 pages

Assessment on Hobbes' Ideas on Monarchy

Thomas Hobbes was a proponent of the monarchal system and in this paper I will prove that Hobbes was right in supporting the monarchal system of government, I will also show the opposing school of thought, and finally, I will give you my opinion on the monarchal system. Thomas Hobbes lived from 1588-1679 and throughout most of his life there was violence going on all around him. The biggest case was the English Civil War. This war lasted about seven years and it overthrew the monarchy, which England had established many years before. After this revolution, shaky governments ruled the land for several years. But then, the English went back to the monarchal system. These times shaped Hobbes’ views and his way of thought. Hobbes became a backer of the monarchal system and expressed his thoughts through his book, Leviathan. He had several reasons that supported his zeal for monarchy. The first of which is the monarch that would be in place would look out for his people and not only for himself. Hobbes starts out by saying that if there is a thoughtful and giving monarch, he would try to encourage his people to work as hard as they possibly could. For example, if the people had to pay taxes of 10% of their total income, then the king would also get 10% of that. If the king were intelligent, he would encourage the people to work harder. This would not only increase their own personal wealth, but also that of the king’s. This may seem a bit conniving because the king is coming out of it with more money because 10% of a larger amount of total income will mean more money for the king, but the monarch is, in actuality, making lives better for the people. “Now in monarchy the private interest is the same with the public [interest]. The riches, power, and honour of a monarch arise only from the riches, strength and reputation of his subjects. For no king can be rich, nor glorious, nor secure, whose subjects are either poor, or contemptible, or too weak (through want or dissension) to maintain a war against their enemies, whereas in a democracy, or aristocracy, the public prosperity confers not so much to the private fortune of one that is corrupt, or ambitious, as doth many times a perfidious advice, a treacherous action, or a civil war” (Hobbes 120). The king or queen decides everything for the good of the people. This has to be true, because if the people are not well, the king will not be well. If the king was corrupt, he would only benefit for a certain amount of time and his people would suffer. Eventually, he would suffer along with them. Essentially, everyone’s lives are intertwined. Another example of why Hobbes prefers monarchies instead of other forms of governments is ability of monarchies to enact legislation without too much “gridlock”. In governments where there are assemblies that are needed to make decisions, they can be inefficient and never reach an agreement, case in point, our U.S. government....

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