Thomas Hobbes and His Contribution to the Constitution

Thomas Hobbes was an important figure in thee contribution to the Constitution. He was born on April 5th 1588 in Westport, Wiltshire, England and died December 4th 1679 in Hardwick, England. Hobbes’ uncle sponsored his education at Oxford University. In 1604, Hobbes’ father also named Thomas Hobbes, left his family and never returned to be seen again. Hobbes’ also had three siblings; two brothers and a sister. He wrote three major writings; De corpore (published eventually in 1655), De homine (published eventually in 1658), and De cive (appearing in 1642).

De corpore was a writing that focused on physical life behavior. De homine was about human body and mind behaviors and actions. De cive summed up principles of a man’s social life in an organized manner. Hobbes’ was mostly influenced by theory’s that had risen in European scientific circles. The theory was that things that were caused were not essential urges that were particular self-realization or self-fulfillment, but could go beyond various principles of motion. Thomas Hobbes thought that there should be equal rights for all people.

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He also had thought that the community should have more say to pass laws. He stated that an absolute sovereignty was the best form of government because people were too greedy and cold hearted to naturally rule themselves. To ensure personal safety and prosperity, all “unalienable rights” should be surrendered to the monarch. He believed in a monarchy government and matter in motion was his philosophy. The first three lines of the U. S. Constitution, “We The People” are based off of Hobbes’ philosophy. Those words imply popular sovereignty.

The form of popular sovereignty is implied in Articles 1, 5, and 7. In Article 1, Section 1 it is stated that “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives. In Article 5, it says “The Congress…shall propose Amendments to this Constitution…the Legislatures of two thirds of several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments…when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress”. That article is basically saying how the amendments are made through people that are elected representatives; which is another form of popular sovereignty.

Article 7 states “Ratification of the Convention of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same. ” The translation of this is that nine states must ratify the new Constitution before it goes into effect. Hobbes’ influenced all of these ways of sovereignty. Important Points to Remember* * De Corpore- published in 1655 -Focused on physical life behavior * De Homine- published in 1658 -Focused on human body, mind behaviors, and actions * De Cive- appeared in 1642 -Summed up a man’s social life and organized manners * Thought that an absolute sovereignty government was the best form of government * His philosophy contributed to Article I, Article V, and Article VII in the United States Constitution


* Soylent, Communications. “Thomas Hobbes. ” NNDB. Soylent Communications, 2011. Web. <http://www. nndb. com/people/691/000031598/>. * BBC. “Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679). ” Worldwide: BBC, 2011. Web. <http://www. bbc. co. uk/history/historic_figures/hobbes_thomas. shtml> * Condren, Conal. “Thomas Hobbes Biography. ” World Biography. Port Washington, NY: Twayne Publishers, 2000. Web. <http://www. notablebiographies. com/He-Ho/Hobbes-Thomas. html>. * Walenta, Craig. “Political Philosophers: Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679). ” U. S. Constitution Online. 1995-2010. Web. <http://www. usconstitution. net/philosophers. html>.

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Thomas Hobbes and His Contribution to the Constitution. (2017, Feb 05). Retrieved from