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Social Contract Theory - John Locke Developed a Social Contract Theory

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Social Contract Theory

A Social Contract is an agreement between people to have order within the community and themselves. Natural laws are what the social contract is based on. Natural laws are where people have rights to their labor, individuality, and property from what they have worked so hard to accomplish. This paper is going to discuss John Locke's principles within his Social Contract Theory and how it works within the criminal justice system. Also in this paper will discuss the freedom of the personal rights and ethical obligations.

A philosopher John Locke developed a Social Contract Theory of his own understanding of natural laws. He believed people should follow and abide natural laws within a society. John Locke stated a state without a government in place people would find out through reasoning that there are natural laws to follow and that they also have natural rights to their property, person, and liberty.

Society Based on Natural Law

John Locke defines the state of nature in two treaties of government that all people have the same rights. Also that having set natural laws gives people that make a living to build property wealth, a promising future, and the protection of their property by having set government to follow through with the protection. (Jackson 2010) Within the social contract John Locke included that is someone decides to break the contract for any reasons, that the government has the duty and right to punish that person or persons. Governments are created to protect society's right because as society gets bigger it will increase the difficulty of law and order from their rights violated. John Locke, within the contract, gave the government obligations to society protection, fair, and equal treatment. (Jackson 2010)

The nature of the state is that no government is to punish a person that goes against the laws established within the social contract is not a state without morality. Pre-political is the state of nature and it is not pre-moral. John Locke's view of the law of nature is basis on morality and by God, states that we cannot harm others of their life, liberty, health, or possessions because everyone is the same to God and that right belongs to him. (Jackson 2010) So by that the state of nature gives liberty that people are free to go for their individual interests and plans, free against interference because the restrictions of the law of nature that goes upon people it is mostly peaceful. (Jackson 2010)

Social Contract and Property

For government and the social contract John Locke stated that property is an essential role. Because when one person combines his/her work with the materials of nature then it becomes private property.(Friend 2004) For example, when a person buys a section of land, and that land is used to produce food for profit for the owner, that person has a right of ownership to the property, which that is their private property. John Locke concluded since the natives failed to work on their land with the basic materials of nature then the property does not belong to them. The law of nature, there are limits of land ownership. The limits set are that no one person is allowed to purchase property no more than what they are using the land for, cannot leave other people without enough land for them. (Friend 2004)

Political Society and Government

In the social contract, individual men gather together in the state of nature in a political society developed an agreement to give up executive power to bring about punishment on those persons who go against the law of nature, and give power to the public to give to the government.(Friend 2004) The government created a political society which, within the law of nature gained three things that include; laws, executive branch to enforce the laws, and judges to carry out punishment or other decisions of the laws.(Friend 2004) The social contract involves natural rights, restrictions of liberties, assumptions of duties, and the powers to be exercised. There are 2 main duties to the government; 1) defense of rights, and 2) decisions made by assembly. (Constitution Society 1994)

The assembly consists of customs for due notice, parliamentary duties, and enforcement by militia. This assembly is called the constitution of society. The constitution of nature precedes the constitution of society and government. After a society is developed and it takes over a territory, then that is when the right to remain at a person's original place of birth. The constitution of government establishes institutions, duties, procedures, and structures from one assembly to another. When reached to that point is where laws, officials, and agents are developed, including taxes, law enforcers, and armies. (Constitution



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