Thomas Hobbes was born on April 5, 1588 in Wiltshire, England. Hobbes was born into a life of leisure and wealth. His father abandoned him at a young age, so a wealthy uncle took care of he and his family. He started school early and enrolled in Magdalen College when he was 15 years old. After touring the continent of Europe for many years, Hobbes returned to England only to find growing dissension on whether or not to have a monarchy. This is where Hobbes drew his inspiration for “The Elements of Law, Natural and Political.” This book described his view of how man should be ruled and how man should live his life.
“The Elements of Law, Natural and Political” can be closely related to Plato’s idea of “the good life.” They both involve man and woman giving over their lives to the elite rulers of the society. Even though the book supported the monarchy, both sides of the dispute disliked it’s reasoning. The royalists because they believed that their power was a God-given power, one that could not be chosen and handed out, and the anti-royalists disliked it because it gave the royalists a sound argument for their divine power. Hobbes became nervous over the impending war, and left the country for France.
It is in France where Hobbes would write his most famous book, “Leviathan.” This book was meant to restore monarchy to England with one simple argument; people should submit to the monarchy so it can use its power over the people and prevent them from going into civil disorder. Once again, Hobbes was disappointed because this book did not affect the people of England as much as he would have liked it to. Hobbes then returned to England, where he was met only with controversy. His attacks on such establishments as Oxford in “Leviathan” were coming back to haunt him.
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He would eventually be barred from any writing that involved social issues. He defied the law and wrote “Behemoth: The History of the Causes of the Civil Wars of England.” He later died in 1679, narrowly escaping punishment for his crime.