Political Science at Huntingdon College
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PSC 314: Constitutional law and Political Theory

Michael Curtis (ed) Great Political Theories, expanded edition

Student Outlines, Vol. I | More | Vol. II

Compiled from student contributions (thanks) by Jeremy Lewis.  Revised 24 March 2015.



(Lauren Mitchell, 2000)
(other versions below.)
I. Basis of Social Organization
A. Development of the state
1. States come about because we all have needs. We gather a group of people together where each individual has the ability to satisfy other individuals' requirements for living.
2. Example: The farmer needs the builder, the builder needs the merchants; each citizen has a need for one another. More products will be available when each man is properly suited for his occupation.
B. Who should rule?
1. The most qualified elders must have the authority. Rulers must always act for the the good of the commonwealth.
2. Young men known as "Auxiliaries" will enforce the Rulers' decisions.
C. How should the citizens live?
1. The basic ideal states that in order for the state to be a success, then the citizen's are
not to possess any private property beyond the "barest necessaries."
2. Aim in establishing the commonwealth was not to make any particular class happy,
but to strive for happiness within the community as a whole.

D. The composition of a state

1. Wisdom within the state is very important. Wisdom will come from the knowledge that resides in the smallest part, the leaders that govern the rest.
2. Two important characteristics still remain to be addressed.
a. Temperance must be established within the community. Each man must have control of his emotions and his actions. 
b. Justice can simply consist of everyone minding their own business and not meddling in the affairs of others. The presence of justice within the commonwealth insures that wisdom and temperance will be present as well.
E. The composition of the soul
1. The same three characteristics that exist within the state exist within the soul also.
2. Example: "And so we call an individual brave in virtue of this spirited part of his nature, when, in spite of pain or pleasure, it holds fast to the injunctions of reason about what he ought or ought not be afraid of."
II. The Three Waves
A. Equality of women
1. In order for women to be able to do the same tasks as men, then the women must be taught the same knowledge.
2. Some women will be fitted by nature to do certain jobs, while others will not. This depends on whether or not the women have the same qualities required of men that are selected for the jobs.
B. The abolition of the family
1. Throughout the commonwealth no one man and no one woman are to live together privately. "...Wives are to be held in common by all; so too are the children, and no parent is to know his own child, nor any child his parent."
2. The goal is for all citizens to feel universal emotions. These emotions are what creates their bond with one another.
C. Philosophers must be kings
1. Because of their desire for wisdom, philosophers would be the best choice to hold the positions as rulers.
2. Characteristics of a prospective leader
a. passion for knowledge
b. must be truthful and temperate in every aspect of life
D. Is the philosopher useless?
1. Philosophers are only useful if the citizens make use of them.
2. The multitude can never really be philosophical on its own. Those individuals 
possessing the potential to be the philosophical rulers will stand out at an early age.
E. Is the philosopher-king possible?
1. If the philosopher is concerned with the order of the world, then he has the ability to become godlike; however, even with the acquisition of such status there will still be room for doubt and criticism within the commonwealth.
2. It is the belief that until the philosophers are in power, neither states nor the 
individuals will be acquitted of trouble. In this scenario, the imagined commonwealth will never be acknowledged. 

Plato’s Republic
Jonathan Lyons, 2006
 -Plato was the founder of the first college, The Academy, in 388 and was a student of Socrates
 -Plato concerned himself with fundamental questions like the meaning of justice, the right kind of life, the makeup of the human personality, and the purpose of political association.
-Plato describes the state as necessary to meet the needs of every individual.  The state results from no individual being self-sufficient, individuals “lean” on one another for certain amenities.
-Plato believed the Athenian ideal of all citizens being involved in politics was ineffective; he believed ruling was a craft needing a group of trained rulers
 -Plato believed that wisdom in the state is vital, and that wisdom comes from those who lead.  Plato thought that elders (Guardians) should have authority and do what is best for the state, with younger men “auxiliaries” to enforce the rules of the elders.
 -Guardians should have no earthly possessions and should live in a communal fashion, sharing meals together.  Guardians should not have wives either, and upon the finding of a Guardian to have more than he should then he shall be sent back to the general population.
 -The three elements of the soul were related to class and to the function of individuals in the state
-Appetite (referring to satisfaction of physical desires) (laborer)
 -Plato believed that at birth certain individuals are identified as being spiritually enhanced with gold, silver, or brass (iron).  Depending on the precious metal each person carried, they would be taught as this.
-Plato sought equality for men and women, he believed that in order for women to be on an equal plateau with men they should be taught what men are taught.  Plato thought that the family should be abolished:  Wives are to be held in common, children are not to know their parents.  Plato thought that this would create universal emotions that would bond the commonwealth.

Plato's Republic
By Gabriel Thorn, 2002 

·       Plato believes that we should look at acommunity as a way of coming up with our own senses of justice. 
·       We should each have our own task for our societyto become as efficient as possible, and we must rely on each other for
themeans to complete our tasks. 
·      War is the conflict of desires between differentsocieties. 
·       The rulers should be the best of the society.
·       The rulers should always act in the interest ofthe commonwealth even when it conflicts with their own interests. 
·       We must test the rulers through ordeals of toiland pain to see how they perform. 
·       The rulers must pass through the tests ofchildhood, youth, and manhood and those who come out unscathed are fit to
berulers over the commonwealth. 
·       We also need a religion to establish a divineright to rule. 
·       The commonwealth must keep the military educatedand content. 
·       We must keep the military focused on theirobjective instead of material wealth. 
·       A state should be allowed to grow only so far asit can increase in size without                      the loss of unity. 
·       A community needs to be in a cycle once itreaches a certain point. 
·       A state’s leadership must be wise, brave,temperate, and just. 
·       Plato argues that justice is the servitude ofthe strong to the weak. 
·       He also states that these four qualities existwithin the individual’s soul. 

St. Thomas Aquinas
by Rick Riley, Spring ’09

I. The Essence of Law

- It is a rule and Measure of the acts of man
- Law binds one to act in a certain way
- Reason is what causes a man to act
- Reason issues its commands based upon what the end result will be
- In humans, the most desirable end is happiness (whether worldly or eternal)
- Law must be concerned with common good
- Because of this, law must come from the people or some one who cares for them (a king)
- Natural law has been instilled into man’s mind by God
II. Various Types of Law
- Law is a dictate of reason coming from a ruler or gov’t
- Government of things by God is called eternal law
- All things are governed by divine providence, so all law includes eternal law
- Natural law is the rational creature participating in eternal law
- Laws derived from reasoning but not given 
- Aquinas sees eternal law as the highest 
- Because humans come to different Judgments on various acts, contrary laws will result. Therefore, It is necessary for people to be directed by God’s law in order to eliminate confusion.
- Tyrannical law is not law because it doesn’t come from reason.  It is a perversion of law.
III. Eternal Law
- Eternal law is a type of divine wisdom directing all actions
- God is the Chief administrator in eternal law.
- The only law that is right is that which we get from God.
IV. Natural Law
-     First priority of natural law is to do good and avoid evil.
-     man is inclined to act according to reason
-     Speculative reason:  concerned with what is necessary
-     Practical Reason: concerned with contingent matters such as human actions
-     in common principles natural law is the same for all, it is when it runs into impediments they become defective. 
-    This is due to distortion by evil habits or bad relationships
V. Human Law
-Perfection of virtue is attained by training
-this is the purpose of human law
-Those who are prone to do evil must be restrained from doing so by fear of punishment so that they can be trained to be virtuous.
-Human law has some natural law in it, if it goes against the law of nature, then it is perversion of law and not law itself.
-Human law divided between “Civil Law” and “Law of Nations”
-Law of Nations:  involves things that men cannot live together without
-Civil Law:  Things that derived from natural law that each state determines to be best in its particular situation.
-Human law is made for the common good of the state
-Law may be divided according to the different kind of men who work for the common good of the state
-state includes many people, laws must cover many different action
-It must also be able last for many generations
VI. Power of human law
-most people living under human law are not perfect in virtue
-Law must not prohibit all vices
-Law must lead men to virtue gradually not rapidly
-Human law falls short of divine law
-Augustine:  Government leaves some thing unpunished that are punished by divine law.
-Law doesn’t govern all acts, just those affecting common good of justice and peace
-Law is unjust when it is contrary to human good
-Law is also unjust when it is opposed to divine good
-Acts 5: 29- “we ought to obey God rather than men.”
-Sovereign is to keep human law by his own will.  There is no one who can punish him on Earth.  He is not exempt from divine law.
-the Sovereign can change law when expedient 
If law is bad for general welfare, it doesn’t have to be obeyed.

(Michael Pierce, 2003) & another below

 The church had rejected Aristotle’s philosophy because they saw government as a result of sin. Aristotle’s teachings claim that government is a natural result of man’s social nature. Aquinas
compromised the two conflicting viewpoints.

Essence of Law
 Law is rule: Man is induced to act or restrained from acting through it. Law pertains to reason. He defines just as “which one adopted to produce and preserve happiness and its parts for the body politic.” Law holds the common good as its highest value.

Kinds of Law
 Law is a dictate of practical reason. Rule of God is called “Eternal Law.” Man’s law should respect and use God’s law as a guide. Because it is human nature for men to form differing opinions from other men, all laws should be in line with God’s law to prevent confusion in the people. Man’s law should mirror God’s law; in that way men can borrow the infallibility of God’s divine law. Tyrannical law is a perversion of the law as it is not based in reason.

Eternal Law.
 All laws must be derived from the Eternal law. All power comes from the lord God. Man shall be servants to God.

Natural Law
 The first precept of law is that good is to be done and ensued, and evil is to be avoided. All natural law is based on this. Man is naturally inclined to be good. Man has a natural inclination to know the
truth about God and live in society. Man is subject to the nature he shares with all other animals. Desire to preserve its own etc. A thing is said to belong to the natural law in two ways: First, because nature inclines thereto (example: that one should not do harm to another).
Second, because nature did not bring in the contrary.

Human Law
 Man is inclined to virtue. Some men are depraved and prone to vice, it is necessary for them to be restrained from evil by force and fear, in order that they might desist from evil doing. Through this those men may become virtuous. The force of law depends on the extent of its justice.
If at any point law deflects fro mthe law of nature it becomes a perversion of the law. Human laws should be proportionate to the common good. The purpose of human law is to lead men to virtue.
 Aquinas borrows from Augustine “The law allows and leaves unpunished things that are punished by divine providence”

Aquinas on Kingship
 Man is a social animal; therefore it is necessary for man to live in a multitude so each can assist his fellows. Because men will live together there must be some means by which the group can be governed. The aim of rulers should be to secure the welfare of those he governs.

Danger of Tyranny
 Tyranny is the worst kind of government. In a just government monarchy is better than aristocracy, aristocracy is better than polity. The opposite is true of an unjust government. Government must go to lengths to prevent tyranny. It is just and virtuous for man to kill a tyrannical king.

Martin Luther
Sierra R. Turner, 2004
Luther was not a powerful political thinker…he maintained a respect for civil authority, rejecting the view that it was fundamentally evil. He had always argued that the Church had no coercive authority, and that the clergy were subject to secular power as were all other individuals. 

Luther advocated obedience to secular power. There was no possibility of resistance to authority, or of reconstruction of society. 

Says that all the children of Adam should be separated into 2 classes:
1. those belonging to the kingdom of God and
2. those belonging to the kingdom of the world.

Those belonging to the kingdom of God are all true believers in Christ and are subject to Christ. These people need no secular sword or law.

All who are not Christians belong to the kingdom of the world and are under the law. Since few believe and still fewer live a Christian life, do not resist the evil, and themselves do no evil, God has provided for non-Christians a different government outside the Christian estate and God’s kingdom. ….

Every kingdom must have its own laws and regulations, and without law no kingdom or government can exist, as daily experience sufficiently proves.

God’s kingdom is a kingdom of grace and mercy, not of wrath and punishment. In it there is only forgiveness, consideration for one another, love, service, the doing of good, peace, joy, etc. But the kingdom of the world is a kingdom of wrath and severity. In it there is only punishment, repression, judgment, and condemnation, for the suppressing of the wicked and the protection of the good. 

Martin Luther
(Todd Kelser, 2000)

he basically divided the classes of people in these two categories:

  • Kingdom of God-God is the only ruler
  • Kingdom of the World- kings, princes, etc
he said that both are important for the world to exist without chaos. The Kingdom of God is ruled by God only and the Kingdom of the World basically protects the your neighbor or the weak.

Luther feels that secular power forces souls to external death because the law is not the law of God, and then the followers of those laws believes in lies and errors and counts that right which is wrong.

The Kingdom of God is of grace and mercy not wrath and punishment only forgiveness consideration for another, love, service, good , peace, and joy.

The Kingdom of the World is of wrath and punishment. In it is only punishment, repression, judgement, and condemnation and for the protection of the good.

He also says for people who confuse these two kingdoms and put god with wrath and world with mercy is like putting god in hell and the devil into heaven.

Laws for the Princes
if the prince prays and clings solely to God, God will grant him the power to carry out all laws, counsels, and actions in a proper and Godly way.

4 duties of a prince
toward god consists in true confidence and sincere in prayer
toward his subjects consists in love and Christian service
toward his counselors and rulers consists of an open mind and unfettered judgment
toward his evil doers consist in proper zeal and firmness

Sierra R. Turner, 2004

According to Calvin, Christian liberty consists of three parts: 
1. The first part is that the consciences of believers, when seeking an assurance of their justification before God, should raise themselves above the law and forget al the righteousness of the law. 
2. The second part of Christian liberty, which is dependent on the first, is that their consciences do not observe the law, as being under any legal obligation; but that, being liberated from the yoke of the law, they yield a voluntary obedience to the will of God.
3. The third part of Christian liberty teaches us that we are bound by no obligation before God respecting external things, which in themselves are indifferent, but that we may indifferently sometimes use and at other times omit them.
Man is under 2 kinds of government- one spiritual, by which the conscience is formed to piety and the service of God; the other political, by which a man is instructed in the duties of humanity and civility, which are to be observed in an intercourse with mankind. They are generally, and not improperly, denominated the spiritual and the temporal jurisdiction, indicating that the former species of government pertains to the life of the soul, and that the latter relates to the concerns of the present state, not only to the provision of food and clothing, but to the enactment of laws to regulate a mans life among his neighbors by the rules of holiness, integrity, and sobriety.

The authority possessed by kings and other governors over all things upon earth is not a consequence of the perverseness of men but of the providence of holy ordinance of God, who has been pleased to regulate human affairs in this manner; for as much as he is present, and also presides among them, in making laws and in executing equitable judgments.

The first duty of subjects toward their magistrates is to entertain the most honorable sentiments of their function, which they know to be a jurisdiction delegated to them from God, and on that account to esteem and reverence them as God’s ministers and vicegerents. 

Hunter Wolfe, Fall 2004

The Ruler as Minister of God
"Where there is no vision, the people perish."
A kingdom not ruled by God is deceived by thinking they will have lasting prosperity.
The Idea of Christian Liberty
Christian Liberty consists of three parts: 
1. The consciences of believers, when seeking an assurance of their justification before God, should raise themselves above the law and forget all the righteousness of the law. (Divine mercy alone, law leaves no man righteous and no small or big works will fix the debt which he owes to the whole law)
2. Their consciences do not observe the law, as being under any legal obligation; but that, being liberated from the yoke of the law, they yield a voluntary obedience to the will of God. (Law requires perfect love and we are incapable under the law to give perfect love)
3. We are bound by no obligation before God respecting external things, which in themselves are indifferent, but that we may indifferently sometimes use and at other times omit them. (We must be able to see the gifts that God has given us and use them accordingly)
…Let all men, in their respective stations, whether of poverty, of competence, or of splendor, live in the remembrance of this truth that God confers his blessings on them for the support of life, not for luxury…
Then Calvin says that our liberty should be used in loving our neighbors.
Man is under two kinds of government—one spiritual, by which the conscience is formed to piety and the service of God; the other political, by which a man is instructed in the duties of humanity and civility, where are to be observed in an intercourse with mankind.

The Need for Government
Calvin criticizes many types of governments but insists that regulating power is important to not only the people but also to the leaders. We as citizens must respect the magistrates that have been placed in governing positions by God. Calvin believes that the leaders in place will work in accordance with God through the laws that they write. All laws are preposterous which neglect the claims of God and merely provide the interests of men.
For the minds of many lose their regard for equity and justice unless virtue be rewarded with due honor; nor can the violence of the wicked be restrained unless crimes are followed by severe punishments.

The Duty of Obedience
Obedience to magistrates who work for the public good is rendered by God. This includes submitting to their edicts, paying taxes, discharging public duties and bearing burdens for the common defense. 
Citizens should not dabble in public affairs. They should leave this to the ones appointed by God whether that be a legitimate king or an evil tyrant. This doesn’t seem right but we first should look at our transgressions against God to see if we as a people deserve these scourges. 

Niccolo Machiavelli
Realism vs. Idealism
Notes by Hayden R. Pugh, Spring 2014 (more below)

-Niccolo Machiavelli was a Florentine Renaissance man, who in writing The Prince, sought to abolish religious or other emotional factors from political practice.
- Machiavelli’s ideal Prince was to be invulnerable to certain ethical codes in order to carry on as a true leader should without such hindrance. 
-He despised the church’s teachings, claiming that it made capable leaders fearful and too humble to execute policy that is best for the state; if unethical behind-the-scenes behavior is needed, those who are too fearful will not be able to execute. Although, republics who wish to be free from mass corruption should preserve religious observances among the masses.
-Perhaps the initiator of the phrase, “Is it better to be feared, more than to be liked?” Answering, if both are easily sustainable, then the two fit. Being that it is contradictory, fear often ushers more power and ability to accomplish what is needed.
-Machiavelli resolved most of his works by a Galilean viewpoint. Meaning proven methods should act as precedent over theoretical or suggestive proposals, as Aristotle had focused.
-Historical accounts of war and peace should weigh heavier on executive decisions than whimsical accounts.
-There are two methods of fighting, one by law, and the other by force: the first methods is that of men, the second of beasts; but as the first method is often insufficient, one must have revert to the second. It is therefore necessary for a prince to know well how to use both the beast and the man.
-Raw power is essential to a successful state for many reasons. Strong armies offer safety and ability to conquer those who do not share the same ideals.
-“All armed prophets have conquered, and unarmed ones failed; for the character of peoples varies, and it is easy to persuade them of a thing, but difficult to keep them in that persuasion. And so it is necessary to order things so that when they no longer believe, they can be made to believe by force.”
-In taking a state, the conqueror must arrange to act all his at once, so as to not repeat the actions every day. Efficiency is a key proponent for complete takeover. Being careful not to “flip-flop”, to reassure people and win them over by offering aid benefits and general welfare. Such benefits should be granted little by little, so that they may be better “appreciated” by the conquered people.
-A prince must live with his subjects in such a way that no accident of good or evil fortune can deflect him from his course of action.

by Alexis Johnson, Fall 2009

-Machiavelli born in 1469 in Florence, Italy, is considered one of the main founders of modern political science.
-He is an outstanding example of a “Renaissance man,” because of his work as a diplomat, political philosopher, musician, and playwright, but, foremost, a civil servant of the Florentine Republic.
-Machiavelli believes that politics should be argued from a strictly political viewpoint, eliminating theological and moral arguments. 
-Machiavelli is greatly opposed to the church, believing that it causes men to be humble, and thus weakening their ability to lead.
-Machiavelli wrote The Prince when he was 44 years old, but it was not published until five years after his death. 
-The Prince's contribution to the history of political thought is the fundamental break between political Realism and political Idealism.
-Machiavelli wrote that “how we live is so far removed from how we ought to live, that he who abandons what is done for what ought to be done, will rather learn to bring about his own ruin than his preservation.” 
-Machiavelli believed that a prince should make himself feared and avoid hatred.
-He lists two methods of fighting, one by law, and the other by force. Although he says “the first is of men, and the second of beasts,” moreover, he also says that “it is necessary for a prince to know how to use both.” 
-His beliefs require the prince, or leader, to be a public figure above reproach, while privately acting without moral standards to achieve state goals.
-In his work, Discourses, he lists ways a republic should be started and structured, including the concept of checks and balances, the strength of a tri-partite, or a three branch, political structure, and the superiority of a republic over a principality.

Sierra R. Turner, 2004

Machiavelli was born in Florence in 1469 and had been a diplomatic emissary and political adviser.

The Prince, not officially published until 1532, achieved immediate success. Machiavelli advocated the use of history….

Machiavelli’s name has become synonymous with the devil largely because of his argument that evil means were sometimes necessary to achieve desired ends, that cruelty, deceit, terrorism, ruthless use of force and treachery were all permissible, desirable, on occasion.

Machiavelli had little interest in spiritual matters, none in theological. His was a public, not a private philosophy. His interest in religion was solely political. A prince did not have to be religious, but it was important for him to appear so.

Much of Machiavelli’s writing is considered with the need for a strong army, for a national militia, and the bringing to an end of the mercenary system. 

In taking a state the conqueror must arrange to commit all his cruelties at once, so as not have to recur to them every day, and so as to be able, by not making fresh changes, to reassure people and win them over by benefiting them. 

There are two methods of fighting, the only by law, the other by force: the first methods is that of men, the second of beasts; but as the first method is often insufficient, one must have recourse to the second. It is therefore necessary for a prince to know well how to use both the beast and the man. 

Machiavelli asks the question whether it is better to be love more than feared, or feared more than loved. The reply is, that one ought to be both feared and loved, but as it is difficult for the two to go together, it is much safer to be feared than loved, if one of the two has to be wanted. 

Princes and republics who wish to maintain themselves free from corruption must above all things preserve the purity of all religious observances, and treat them with proper reverence; for there is no greater indication of the ruin of a country than to see religion condemned. 

Niccolo Machiavelli The Prince and The Discourses
Al Zachos 2004

-The Art of Politics- Those who become Princes, obtain their power with difficulty but retain that power quite easily.  There is nothing more dangerous of difficult, than to initiate a new order of things.  The reformer has enemies in all those who profit by the old order, and only lukewarm defenders in those who would profit by the new order.

-The new reformer will be attacked whole heartedly by partisans, and only half heartedly defended by new supporters, thus it is necessary for him to institute force to keep these people from overthrowing him, and that is the only way to success.

Once the reformer has overcome the doubt, and is looked upon with some veneration, and has suppressed those who envied him, they will remain powerful and secure.

-In taking a state, the conqueror must commit all of his cruelties at once, so not to have hem recur every day, thus he may then spend time benefiting the citizens. 

-He who becomes prince by way of nobility has a tougher time maintaining it than one who is raised by the populace.

-It is necessary for a good Prince to learn how not to be good, and he must use this knowledge and not use it, depending on the situation.

-Is it better to be feared or loved?  Machiavelli says that ideally it would be nice to be feared and loved; however, since the two rarely ever go together, it is much safer to be feared than loved.

-He says that it is safer to be feared than loved because, people are fickle, and if you are doing well and prospering, then they will give you their blood, loyalty, and even children; but, if times go badly, then they will revolt.  Thus, friendships with the populace are dangerous.

-Still a Prince, if he is to be feared rather than loved, should atleast make sure that he is not hated.

Machiavelli explains that there are two methods of fighting: by law and by force, the first method is that of men, the latter is of the beast.

-Sometimes, fighting by law is insufficient, and so the Prince must know how to rely on the second method.    He should know how to fight like a man and a beast.

-He uses Alexander VI, as an example of the prince who deceived his people, but he was more successful than many, thus it is necessary for a prince to be able to deceive.

-Machiavelli says that a prince must SEEM to have these qualities, mercy, faith, integrity, humanity, and religion.

-Thus, he says that a prince must concentrate on conquering and maintaining the state, and however he does this, the end will justify the means.

-Machiavelli also explains about the political value of Religion, by saying that Princes and Republics who wish to maintain themselves free from corruption must above all things preserve the purity of all religious observances, and treat them with the proper reverence

He says that there is no greater indication of a country’s ruin, than the condemnation of its religion.  A prince must uphold the foundation of religion.

-Machiavelli is a strong anti-cleric, and he believes that if the Christian religion had been maintained according to the principles of its founder, then governments and states would be more united.  He says that Italians owe the Church of Rome for becoming irreligious and bad.

-He also makes a comparison with Pagan religion, when he says that Pagan religions, supported those chieftains and warriors who achieved great glory on the battlefield, however, Christianity encourages men to be humble, and feeble in exchange for Paradise.  Men of Paganism would try more for material needs and thus would be stronger individuals.

-He says that lack of education, and the false interpretation of their religion that has led to the lessening of the amount of republics.

-Concluding, Machiavelli says that now is the right time for <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns =
"urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Italy to find its liberator, and he quotes Petrarch to conclude, as he is pushing his Prince to try and liberate Italy.  He states that this barbarous domination stinks in the nostrils of every one.

Thus, Machiavelli often took a realistic rather than idealistic view of how a Prince should rule, but these principles have stood the test of time even till today.

by Michael George, 2002

     The political development of the Renaissance was a secular concept of the state, "the state as a work of art," in which
     decisions were determined by political, not religious or chivalric criteria 
     The Prince achieved immediate success 
     The achievement of Machiavelli was "opening up a new route," eliminating theological and moral argument, taking the secular state for granted, and inquiring scientifically into its behavior.
     Machiavelli advocated the use of history as example; since human nature remained unchanged throughout history, historical situations repeated themselves, and therefore general laws of political behavior could be deduced from the past. 
     Political activity, to be successful, had to take account of these laws and base itself on imitation of great men. 
     Machiavelli was the first writer to use raison d'etat as an explanation and defense of political action. 

The Prince
The Art of Politics
     Princes obtain their dominions with difficulty but retain them easily, and the difficulties which they have in acquiring their dominions arise in part from the new rules and regulations that they have to introduce in order to establish their position securely. 

     The reformer has enemies in all those who profit by the old order, and only lukewarm defender in all those who would profit by the new order. 

     All armed prophets have conquered, and unarmed ones failed; for the character of peoples varies, and it is easy to persuade them of a thing, but difficult to keep them in that persuasion. And so it is necessary to order things so that when they no longer believe, they can be made to believe by force. 

     In taking a state the conqueror must arrange to commit all his cruelties at once, so as not to have to recur to them every day, and so as to be able, by not making fresh changes, to reassure people and win them over by benefitting them 

     Benefits should be granted little by little, so that they may be better enjoyed. 

     A prince must live with his subjects in such a way that no accident of good or evil fortune can deflect him from his course. 

     Of all things that a prince must guard against, the most important are being despicable or hated, and liberality will lead you to one or the other of these conditions. 

     Machiavelli asks the question whether it is better to be love more than feared, or feared more than loved. The reply is, that one ought to be both feared and loved, but as it is difficult for the two to go together, it is much safer to be feared than loved, if one of the two has to be wanted. 

     A prince should make himself feared in such a way that if he does not gain love, he at any rate avoids hatred; for fear and the absence of hatred may well go together,a nd will be always attained by one who abstains from interfering with property of his citizens and subjects or with their women. And when he is obliged to take the life of any one, let him do so where there is a proper justification and manifest reason for it; but above all he must abstain from taking the property of others, for men forget easily the death of their father than the loss of their patrimony. 

     It is very laudable for a prince to keep good faith and live with integrity, and not with astuteness. 

     There are two methods of fighting, the one by law, the other by force: the first method is that of men, the second of beasts; but as the first method is often insufficient, one must have recourse to the second. It is therefore necessary for a prince to know well how to use both the beast and the man. 

     A prince being thus obliged to know well how to act as a beast must imitate the fox and the lion, for the lion cannot protect himself from traps, and the fox cannot defend himself from wolves. One must there fore be a fox to recognize the traps, and a lion to frighten the wolves. 

     It is not necessary to have all of the qualities needed to be liked, but it is necessary to seem to have them 

     Thus it is well to seem merciful, faithful, humane, sincere, religious, and also to be so; but you must have the mind so disposed that when it is needful to be otherwise you may be able to change to the opposite qualities. 

The Political Value of Religion
     Princes and republics who wish to maintain themselves free from corruption must above all things preserve the purity of all religious observances, and treat them with proper reverence; for there is no greater indication of the ruin of a country than to see religion condemned. 

     It is therefore the duty of princes and their countries, for then it is easy to keep their people religious, and consequently well conducted and united. 

(more below)

Gabe Thorn, 2002

It is difficult for a ruler to begin a new system because itis very difficult to begin a new system. 

After the new system is initiated, however, it is maintained with relative ease. 

New laws are hard to implement because the people who benefit from the old laws protest the

A ruler must use his own strength to get things done.  If he has to rely on the strength of others, he
has already failed.  He can use their strength,but he cannot rely on it. 

You can make men believe in something if you order them to. 

If the majority of the people governed support a ruler orraised him to power then he will have a much
better chance of maintaining that power. 

If the nobles elect a ruler to power, he will have a harder time because the nobles will think
themselves equal to him and be impossible to rule. 

The goals and aims of the common people are more virtuous and honest than those of the nobility. 

A ruler must seem noble and honorable, but at the same time he must know when to be dishonest
and ruthless. 

The people must both fear and love a ruler.  If he cannot be both, however, it is far safer to be feared,
for people are afraid to offend him.  Love without fear leads to comfort, and comfort leads to laziness.

A ruler may be loved and feared, but he must do everything in his power to prevent being hated.
Hatred leads to unrest, and unrest leads to guillotines. 

A ruler should only take a life for a just cause.  He should never take a man's land or
property after taking his life, because that causes intense grudges. 

There are two ways of fighting.  One can fight by law.  Law is the way of men.  Or one can fight by
force.  Force is the way of the beasts.  If law does not work, a ruler must be prepared to use force. 

A ruler must display five attributes: he must be human, faithful, merciful, religious, and sincere. The
most important of these five is religious, because it allows laws to be made in divine right and
prevents contestation of them. 

If a ruler wishes to keep corruption out of the society, religion is a very important factor.  If a populace is deeply religious, they will be united by their morals. 

It is a proven fact that when religion begins to decline, so does the civilization. 

Outline of Hugo de Groot, "Grotius," The Rights of War and Peace
By Blair Casebere, Spring 2015 (other versions below)

The body of law is concerned with the mutual relations among states.

Out of the source of pacts, bodies of municipal laws have arisen. 
Relationships between one another is what governs the nature of law. 
Individuals on their own are quite week. 
Just as certain laws of each state fit that state, so by mutual consent is has become possible that certain laws should originate between multiple states.
Carneades categorized all laws into the law of nature or the law of particular countries.
Carneades wrongly ridicules justice as folly.
Even if there were no advantage to keeping the law, Carneades does not recognize that it was a mark of wisdom, not folly, to do what comes natural to us.
Though law is natural it is not entirely void of effort.
Justice is a protector. 
The standard of justice varys of the individuals.—this leads to error because one individual has no view except his own advantages, leaving others powerless to protect themselves by the law that was created by an individual. 

There is no state so powerful that it will not at some point call on help from another.
No association between man can be maintained without law.

The distinction between the law of nature and the law of nations is drawn from the character of the matter. For whatever cannot be deducted from the process of reason must be from free will.

Human law is either 1.) municipal law, 2.)broader in scope that municipal law, or 3.)more restricted than municipal law.
1.) Municipal law is what emanates from civil power.
Civil power is what bears sway over the state, 
And the state is a complete association of free men, joined together by their common interest.

2.) The law that is broader than municipal law is the law of nations.
The law of nations: law which has its origin from the will of multiple nations.

3.) The proof of law of nations is similar to that for unwritten municipal law.
The proof of law is found in unbroken custom.

*Grotius - The Rights of War and Peace*
*(International law v. Natural law)*
by Maegan McCollum, Spring 2009 (other versions below)

* The controversies which arise between peoples or kings generally have the use of force and war as their referee.
* The idea that war is irreconcilable with all law is a view held not just by the ignorant masses, but the well-informed.
* Nothing is more common than the assertion of antagonism between law and arms.
* Carneades said that men imposed upon themselves laws, which varied according to those men’s customs, and were changed and reformed as time wore on.

- He also stated that there is no law of nature, because all creatures, men and animals, are driven by nature to do that which is advantageous to them.
- So, there is no justice because one does violence to his own interests if he aids the advantage of others.
* Grotius says that man is an animal, but of a superior kind.
* One of the traits of man is a desire for a peaceful society and social life that is organized according to his intelligence—the Stoics called this “sociableness.”
* The mature man has knowledge and he is prompted to conduct certain actions when certain conditions arise. This adds to his desire for society and to satisfy that desire man possesses speech. He can know and act in accordance with general principles. So, he can follow rules. This is not common to all animals, but just man.
* The maintenance of the social order is the source of law. This sphere of law includes the ideals that one should leave alone what is another’s and the restoration to another of anything of his which we may have, together with any gain which we may have received from it, the obligation to fulfill promises, and the infliction of penalties on men who break the law.
* Man also holds a power of discrimination that enables him to decide what things are agreeable or harmful. Other creatures do not.
* This kind of law is derived from nature. Grotius says there is also another source, that of the free will of God.
- This tells us that we must obey, teaches us to obey.
- The law of nature which relates to the social life of man is rightly attributed to God, because God willed these traits to exist.
* God has made those fundamental traits more abundant, even to those who are less intelligent. He forbids us from yielding to impulses which draw us in opposite directions and that affect our own interest rather than the interest of others, so that our violent impulses are restrained within the proper limits.
* The nature of man leads us into the mutual relations of society and that’s the mother law of nature. The mother of municipal law is the obligation that arises from mutual consent and it derives its force from the law of nature—so the law of nature is the grandmother of municipal law.
* The laws of each state have in view the advantage of that state, and by mutual consent certain laws should originate between states. These laws have the advantage of a great society of states in mind. This is the law of nations.
* Carneades did not acknowledge this division; instead, he divided law into the law of nature and the law of particular countries. So, when looking at laws which are maintained between states he looked to war and things acquired by war.
- But Grotius says that the state which transgresses the laws of nature and of nations cuts away the ties which safeguard its future peace.
* Justice brings peace of conscience while injustice causes torments and anguish. Justice is approved and injustice condemned by the common agreement of good men.
* Many believe that the standard of justice which is upheld by individuals within the state is not applicable to a nation or the ruler of a nation.
- Grotius disagrees. He says that there is no state so powerful that it may not sometime need the help of others outside itself, either for trade, or to ward off forces of other foreign nations.
- Even the most powerful peoples and sovereigns seek alliances.
*If no association of men can be maintained without law, then obviously an association which binds together the human race or many nations together, NEEDS law.
* He concludes going back over the hierarchy of laws.
- Human law is either municipal law, or broader, or more restricted
- Municipal law comes from civil power. This civil power is what can sway the state. The state is a complete association of free men, joined together for the enjoyment of rights and for their common interest.
- The law which is broader in scope than municipal law is the law of nations—it receives its obligatory force from the will of all nations or of many.
- Chrysostom observed that “the law of nations is the creation of time and custom.”

Curtis Volume 1- Hugo Grotius-The Rights of War and Peace 
Jamie Jordan, 2003 (Matt Glarrow's is below)
  • Biography
    • 1583-1645
    • was the official historian of the Dutch Republic at twenty
    • chief magistrate of Rotterdam at thirty
    • arrested and imprisoned as a leader of the Republican party
    • escaped and fled to France where he wrote De Jure Belli ac Pacis (On the Rights of War and Peace)
    • had been a lawyer for large commercial company engaged in international trade
    • made probably the most influential contributions to international law
    • above all concerned with the problem of war
      • "War ought not to be started except for the enforcement of rights, and should be waged only within the bounds of law and good faith."
    The Rights of War and Peace
    • Carneades
      • "for reasons of expediency men imposed upon themselves laws, which vary according to customs and among the same peoples often undergo changes as times change; moreover that there is no law of nature, because all creatures, men as well as animals are impelled by nature toward ends advantageous to themselves; that, consequently, there is no justice, or, if such there be, it is supreme folly, since one does violence to his own interests if he consults the advantage of others.
      • Does not mention any divisions of pacts among states. He divided all law into the law of nature and the law of particular countries.
      • Ridicules justice as folly.
        • "the national who in his own country obeys it’s laws is not foolish, even though, out of regard for that law, he may be obliged to forgo certain things advantageous for himself…."
    • Grotius also notes that it is not human nature to look for the betterment of all or society. Animals as well do this. Also it certainly be taken for granted that all humans will do more than just look out for their own best interest.
    • Municipal law
      • It is the obligation of pacts that are the source from which the bodies of municipal law have arisen. This is because there is no "natural" way to accomplish such.
    • Reinforcement of expediency
      • We are forced to live together by our shortcomings which were designed by nature.
    • Within States 
      • The laws are made to benefit the inhabitants of that state
      • However states cannot function alone and prosper; as people cannot function alone and prosper.
    • Among States
      • Certain laws should originate between all states for the advantage of all states (or a great many states)
      • The original laws can be seen to have the advantage of the great society of states in it’s view.
      • It is only logical that if it is not only advantageous, but also necessary for laws to exist within states that they should also exist among them.
    "Justice brings peace of conscience, while injustice causes torments and anguish. Justice is approved, and injustice condemned, by the common agreement of good men. But, most important of all, in God injustice finds an enemy, justice a protector…"
    • Why have International Relations?
      • There is no state so powerful that it may not some time need the help of others outside of itself, either for purposes of trade or even to ward off the forces of many foreign nations united against it.
      • Even the most powerful peoples and sovereigns seek alliances, which are quite devoid of significance to those who would confine law within the states.
    "All things are uncertain the moment men depart from law."
      The law of nations according to Dio Chrysostom ‘is the creation of time and custom.’
    Curtis Volume 1- Hugo Grotius-The Rights of War and Peace
    (Matthew F. Glarrow, 2001) 
    -subject to be dealt with here is that law which is concerned with the mutual relations between states and the rulers of states ( because very few have touched on this subject.). 
    -Carneades argues there is no law of nature, because all creatures are impelled to seek ends which are advantageous to themselves. 
    -a mature man with knowledge also considers the well being os his offspring as well as the well being of those around him, more so than he is concerned with himself. 
    -“...maintenance of the social order... is the source of law.” 
    -Sources of law: nature, free will of God 
    -a rule of the law of nature is for men to abide by pacts (method of obligating themselves to one another.). 
    -“the law of nations”- law which originates in a view which is advantageous, “...of the great society of states,” rather than an advantageous view of one particular state. 
    -individual must sometimes forfeit their rights for what is best for a greater cause- the nation. 
    -“great states... contain in themselves all things required for the adequate protection of life.” 
    -“...law is not founded on expediency alone, “ no state is so powerful that it will never need help with its trading, or protection from outside enemies. 
    -the principles of the law of nature are clear. 
    -testimony of philosophers, historians, poets, and orators is one means which Grotius uses to prove the existence of the law of nature. 
    -distinguishing between the laws of nature and the law of nations is not always easy. 
    -Human Law may sometimes be Municipal Law, or it may be bigger in scope or more restricted in scope than Municipal Law.  “Municipal Law is that which emanates from civil power.  The Civil power is that which bears sway over the state.” 
    -The Law of Nations (“law which has received its obligatory force from the will of all nations, or of many nations.”)  is broader in scope than municipal law

    James I, “On Divine Right”
    notes by Chanley Rainey, Fall 2008
    • Functionally a denial of ecclesiastical control & declaration of power in the secular realm
    • Monarchy is divinely ordained, king is accountable only to God, & is owed complete obedience
    • This theory was challenged by Sir Edward Coke, Lord Chief Justice (among others) who claimed that the common law tradition did impose limits on the royal rights 
    • This theory was a leading cause of the Civil War in 1642 & the mass emigration of Puritans to America
    The True Law of Free Monarchies
    • Written in 1589, 5 years before James would become King of England
    • Claims Holy Scripture, the “fundamental Laws” of England, and the law of Nature as his supporting authoritative sources
    • Laws of Nature
    o King is like the head of the body
    - From him all judgment and foresight flows
    - The rest of the country (body) acts only to carry out what the head dictates
    o King becomes a “naturall Father to all his lieges at his coronation”
    - Thus must the people obey his commands in all things
    - & never presume to judge or punish him
    - “fearing him as their judge, loving him as their father; praying for him as their protectour”
    - The only recourse to a wicked and unlawful king is prayer to God, the only ruler over a king
    • England’s laws
    o Coronation
    - Claims it is an oath they give to God, not to their subjects, citing the Judeo-Christian tradition of hereditary monarchy
    - The duties of a King, as laid out in the coronation, serve to illustrate that the King is like a “loving father, and careful watchman” because God has “placed him as his lieutenant over [the people], upon the peril of [the king’s] soul to procure the weale of both soules and bodies” 
    o As it is unlawful for vassals to control or displace their lords and for citizens to displace their magistrates, it is so much more unlawful for the subjects to overthrow their king
    • Scripture
    o “Kings are called Gods by the prophetical King David”
    o They sit upon God’s Throne on Earth (God’s Kingdom on Earth, KJB)
    o They are accountable only to God (explained in terms of contract law)
    • King’s rights
    o The king has ownership of all the lands and thus the master, having power over life and death, of every person that lives on the land of his kingdom
    o Though a just king will act within the laws, those laws are created by him and his predecessors and can be changed or ignored by him – “the king is above the law, as both the author and giver of strength of laws”
    o General laws made public by parliament may be mitigated or suspended by kings without any public justification, “upon causes only known to him” 

    James I
    Sierra R. Turner, 2004

    The idea of the Divine Right of Kings evolved in Europe during the Middle Ages. The theory claimed that kings were answerable only to God and it was therefore sinful for their subjects to resist them. James I upheld the doctrine in his speeches and writings. 

    James I believed that the duties of a Prince are outlined in the Scriptures…..

    By the Law of Nature the King becomes a natural “father” to all of his kingdom requiring him to care for the “nourishing, education, and virtuous government of his children= the king is required to care for all of his subjects. 

    The state of monarchy is the supremest thing upon earth... 

    Kings are often held on the same pedestal as gods because they are said to exercise a manner or resemblance of divine power on earth. 

    God has power to create, or destroy, make, or unmake at his pleasure, to give life, or send death, to judge all, and to be judged nor accountable to none: to raise low things, and to make high things low at his pleasure, and to God are both soul and body due. And the like power have Kings; they make and unmake their subjects: they have power of raising, and casting down: of life, and of death: judges over all their subjects, and in all causes, and yet accountable to none but God only.

    James I, "The Right of Kings"
    Kristi Winstead, 2002

    *James I believes that kings are above the law and held accountable only to God.

    *When a king takes oath he promises three things:
    1)To maintaine the Religion presently professed within their country, according
    to their laws, whereby it is established, and to punish all those that should
    press to alter, or disturbe the profession thereof.
    2)To maintain all the lowable and good laws made by their predecessours:  to
    see them put into execution, and the breakers and violaters thereof be punished
    acoordin to the tenour of the same.
    3)To maintaine the whole country and every state therein, in all their ancient
    Priuiledges and Liberties, as well against all foreign enemies, as among themselves.
    *and shortly a king should procure the wealth and flourshing state of his people.
    *By law of the nature the king becomes a natural father to all his people.
    ** “And as the Father of his fatherly duty is bound to care for the nourishing,
    education, and vertous gouernment of his children; even so is the king bound to
    care for all his subjects.”
    *Although the king is above the law, a good king will not only delight to rule
    his subjects by the law, but even will conform himself in his own actions to the law.
            “a good king will frame all his actions to be according to the law”
    *Since the king is not held to the law, one might ask who is he held accountable to. 
            ** the king is held accountable only to God because God is the only Judge for the king. 

    Thomas Hobbes (1588 – 1679)
    By Jason Rhodes, Fall 2006
    ? He spent 11 years in exile in France  where he published De Cive
    o De Cive: Discussed the purpose and extent of civil power
    o Leviathan: Concerns the structure of society.  He argues for a social contract and rule by a sovereign
    ? The Nature of Man
    o He believed that the state power was a “mortal god to which we owe under the immortal God our peace and defense”
    o Man desires power overall; riches, knowledge and honor are but different forms of power
    ? The State of Nature
    o All men are created equal
    o 3 causes of quarrel: Competition, Diffidence, Glory
    o Defines war as: the time during which man lives without a common power 
    o All other times are peace
    ? The Social Contract
    o All men should be able to live without anything impeding their natural liberties
    ? Laws of Nature
    o We are obligated to transfer our natural liberties to our rights
    o Men perform their covenants made
    ? Men will follow through with their  promises
    ? Political Power
    o Greatest of human powers is: that which is compounded by the powers of many men
    o You will make a bigger statement with more people
    o Representatives representing MANY people make a HUGE statement
    o He states the laws of nature: Justice, Equity, Modesty, Mercy
    And do unto others what you would have them do unto you
    o He details a sovereign and a commonwealth
    o He supports monarchal sovereignty because it keeps society stable
    ? Liberty and Law
    o States that subjects should remain faithful until the sovereign loses the power to protect his subjects
    ? The Sovereign Power
    o Sovereign’s power should be supreme
    o All subjects must follow civil laws
    o Civil law
    ? Those rules which the commonwealth hath commanded him, by word, writing, to make use at, for the distinction of right, and wrong; that is to say, of what is contrary, and what is not contrary to their rule
    Subjects have to follow the rules of the sovereign in order to have a stable society
    Thomas Hobbes
    By: Krista Leachman Fall 2003
    -Hobbes neglected the concept of sovereignty
    -He rejects Cartesian dualism and believes in the mortality of soul.

    -rejects free will in favor of determinism, a determinism which treats freedom as being able to do what one desires.

    -He says that men in a state of nature, that is a state without civil government, are in a war of all against all in which life is hardly worth living.

    -The way out of this desperate state is to make a social contract and establish the state to keep order and peace.

    -Because of his view of how nasty life is without the state, Hobbes subscribes to a very authoritarian version of the social contract.

    -He believed that humans were basically selfish creatures who would do anything to better their position.
    -People should not be trusted to make their own decisions.

    -despite his distrust of democracy, Hobbes believed that a diverse group of representatives presenting the problems of the common person would prevent a king from being cruel and unfair.

    Thomas Hobbes 
    By Michael George, 2001
         Wrote Leviathan, explaining the creation and preservation of an authoritative government 
         Within Leviathan, Hobbes discusses the nature of man, the state of nature, the social
         contract, the laws of nature, political power, liberty and law, and the sovereign power 
         It is the most logical, systematic treatise in British political theory 

         The basis for agreement between men was not their common possession of reason 
         Any valid explanation of society and government must take account of the real nature of
         Man was the creator of his own society 
         Man was motivated by his appetites, desires, fear, and self-interest, seeking pleasure and
         avoiding pain 
         Since the powers men had were essentially equal, there was a natural strife as men sought
         to satisfy their desires 
         To escape this intolerable situation, where every individual lived for himself, and to obtain
         peace and order, men agreed to form a society 
         Men surrendered their rights of self-assertion in order to set up a power capable of
         enforcing its authority 
         They gave up their rights to defend themselves, made a social contract and created a
         Order was secured by this sovereign 

        The Nature of Man 
         That which men desire, they are also said to love; and to hate those things for which they
         have aversion
         Because the constitution of a man's body is in continual mutation, it is impossible that all the
         same things should always cause in him the same reaction 
         The passions that most of all cause the difference of wit are the desire of power, of riches,
         of knowledge, and of honour 
         All of these can be reduced to the first, desire of power, for the rest are but several sorts of
         There is a general inclination of all mankind, a perpetual and restless desire of power after
         power, that ceases only in death 
         This is not only because man wants more and more power, but also because he cannot
         assure the power and means to live well 
         Kings, whose power is greatest, turn their endeavors to assuring power at home by laws,
         and abroad by wars 
         Competition of riches, honor, command, or other power, inclineth to contention, enmity,
         and war:  because the way of one competitor, for attaining his desire, is to kill, subdue,
         supplant, or repel the other 

       The State of Nature 
        Nature made men equal, in the faculties of body and mind; as that though there be found
         one man stronger in body or quicker in mind than another 
         For as to the strength of body, the weakest has strengh enough to kell the strongest, either
         by secret machination, or by confederacy with others that are in the same danger as himself 
         Therefore if any two men desire the same thing, which nevertheless they cannot both enjoy,
         they become enemies; and in the way to their end endeavor to destroy, or subdue one
         And because of this, there is no way for any man to secure himself 
         There are three principal causes of quarrel 
         The first is competition 
         The second is safety 
         The third is glory or reputation 

        The Social Contract 
         The right of nature is the liberyy each man has to use his own power as he chooses, for
         preservation of his own life 
         Liberty is the absence of external impediments 
         A Law of Nature is a general rule, found out by reason, by which a man is forbidden to do,
         which is destructive to his life, or takes away the means of preserving it 
         One general rule of reason is "that every man ought to endeavor peace as far as he has
         hope of obtaining it; and when he cannot obtain it, that he may seek, and use all helps and
         advantages of war" 
         The mutual transferring of rights, is that which men call Contract 

        Law of Nature 
           The laws of nature are immutable and eternal; for injustice, ingratitude, arrogance, pride,
         iniquity, acception of persons and the rest, can never be made lawful;  For it can never be
         that war shall preserve life, and peace destroy it

        Political Power 
           The greatest of human powers, is that which is compounded of the powers of most men,
         united by consent, in one person, natural, or civil, that has the use of all their powers
         depending on his will;  such is the power of the commonwealth 
         A commonwealth is when a multitude of men are made one person, when they are by one
         man, or one person, represented 
         The only way to erect such a common power, as may be able to defend the multitude from
         the invasion of foreigners, and the injuries of one another, and thereby secure them, is to
         confer all their power and strength upon one man, or upon an assembly of men 
         The commonwealth has power over everything 
         A sovereign power, whether monarchy or commonwealth is basically infallable 
         The care of the sovereign is to make good laws 
         A good law does not mean a just law, for all laws are just 
         A good law is one that is needful, for the good of the people 
         Therefore a law that is not needful is not a good law 
         A law may be conceived to be good, when it is done for the benefit of the sovereign;
         though it be not necessary for the people; but this is not so 
         The good of the sovereign and people cannot be separated 

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                       John Locke
                               By: Marie Wilkerson, 2003
    The State of Nature 
    -Naturally all men are in a state of equality; without subordination or subjection 
    -They should have the freedom to do their actions and use their possessions as they see fit 
    -no person should have more than another 
    -Every man has the right to own his own property 
        *the labour of his body and of his hands are properly his 
    -Men can own land but it has limits also 
        *as much land as a man can work himself is his 
    "Nothing was made by God for man to spoil or destroy" 
    Civil Society 
    -People in the society have liberty but there cannot be liberty without laws. 
    -Liberty is acting accordingly to a mans own will and instructed by laws. 
    Social Contract 
    -In order for man to live in society together, all the men must agree live by the same rules. 
    -The original contract is agreed on during the first entering into the community. 
    -A son doesn't necessarily receives his father's possessions unless he is part of this community. 
    The End of Society and Government 
    -Fears and continuous danger makes man want to enter a government, although he is free 
    -The legislature is directed to carry out the laws in order to secure safety peace of the people 
    The Legislature Power 
    -The legislature is the supreme power of the commonwealth but it has limitations as well. 
    -A society must fund the government that protects them, in order to keep it running 
    -The society must pay taxes pay taxes. ( a majority consent) 
    The Separation of Power 
    -The making and executing the laws needs to be separate because there is much power in the
    hands of on man to have power over the people. (executive, federative, and legislative) 
    -If society is unhappy with the legislature, they can reform it 
    The Possibility of Resistance
    -Once a government or legislature is established a society there will always be a need for it. 
    -The commonwealth or the people who give it form, life, and liberty. 
    -The government may dissolve is the supreme executive power neglects and abandons the
    governmental laws. 

    John Locke
    Jamie Jordan, 2001

    Locke was in political exile several times
    He used many of his ideas concerning epistemology to back up his political theories.
    Disagreed with Descartes and many other philosophers about this.
    Many say that he contridicts himself in his work.

    His beliefs...
    *  Knowledge was not innate nor revealed, nor resting on authority.
    *  Any state is better than anarchy.
    *  Power comes from the people, rulers were agents acting in the common good.
    *  Political rights are not given to the propertyless.
    *  Men being by nature all free, equal, and independent, no one can be put 
    out of this estate and subjected to the political power of another without his consent.

    (Todd Kelser, 1998)

    the state of nature
    that everyone is equal and they have to follow the same rules as everyone else

    man can own land but not too much
    "Nothing was made by God for man to spoil or destroy"

    civil liberty
    that people in society have liberty but there cannot be liberty without laws

    social contract
    in order for man to live in society, he must live by the same rules as everyone else

    the end of society and government
    basically directed to carry out the laws in order to secure safety peace of the people

    the legislature power
    it is the supreme power but it has limitations as well
    society must give to the legislature to keep it running pay taxes

    the separation of power
    making and executing the laws needs to be separate because it is too much power for one person to have

    the power of the people
    if society is unhappy with the legislature they can also take it away

    the possibility of resistance
    once the legislature is established in the society there will always be a need for legislature.

    Baron de Montesquieu – L’Esprit des Lois
    By:  Chanley Rainey, Fall 2006

    Montesquieu shared with the Philosophes (a French group of enlightened political thinkers) an intense opposition to slavery and despotism and the abusive powers of the church, as well as a demand for humane law and much needed tax reform. He was distrusted by this group, however, b/c he rejected their ideas about the natural rights of man and the social contract on the grounds that man was not an abstract creature, similar under all conditions.
    He wrote two books. The first was a critical satire of French politics called Persian Letters; the second was L’Esprit des Lois, from which our reading is taken. 

    • ? Central thesis:  relativity of law; the actual words of a law are less important than the “spirit” behind them and the desire to use them for good or bad.
    • ? Political beliefs:  everything is relative!! No one solution or govt. for every country, no one mold of civilization, govt. is formed by the conditions it arises to address given its particular country’s characteristics and must be judged on its responses to it’s particular demands and adaptation to its specific set of conditions. 
    The Founding Fathers used heavily Book XI of L’Esprit des Lois, which contained his ideas on political liberty and separation of powers, the ideas which Montesquieu is most remembered for.  We are also indebted to Montesquieu for the very way we view and discuss govt. He was the first to categorize govt. responsibility in terms of the now familiar three areas of legislative, executive, and judicial power. 
    The Spirit of the Laws
    Laws must be considered as they relate to other laws, the problems they are meant to address, the intent of the legislatures who constructed them, and also the events surrounding them – the combined effect of these related factors is the “spirit” of laws.
    The Principles of Different Systems
    ? Defines only three species of govt.:
    o Republican – the ppl. , partly or wholly, are sovereign (requires virtue)
    o Monarchial – one person rules by firmly established laws (requires honor)
    o Despotic – one person rules by his own will and whim (requires fear)
    ? Differentiates b/w the nature of govt. and the principle of govt.:
    o Nature of govt. – its structure and make-up
    o Principle of govt. – way in which it acts, the values and passions it supports
    o Laws should relate to both equally
    The Corruption of the Principles of the Three Governments
    ? “The corruption of every govt. generally begins w/ that of its principles.”
    o Democracies fail when there exists too much or too little equality
    (importance of moderation)
    o Aristocracies fail when the nobles base their actions on personal whim rather than political laws
    ? Montesquieu also insists on the significance of the size of the state in relation to which type of govt. it should employ
    o Republics – small area
    o Monarchial - moderate size 
    o A large empire demands despotic govt.
    ? insists that a govt. must change its “nature” according to its size
    Political Liberty
    ? exists only where there is no abuse of power so “power should be a check to power” (familiar?)
    ? 3 powers inherent in every form of govt. which must be separated
    ? legislative power, the executive power of the state, and the judicial power
    ? judicial – elected for short terms
    ? executive and legislative -  may be elected permanently
    ? Legislative power
    o more practically exercised through representatives who meet frequently
    o Divided into 2 parts, each armed against one another with the veto power
    ? Executive powers
    o should belong to a monarch to avoid mixing with the legislative bodies
    o power to reject legislation; no share in public debate
    o executive must control the army, but be kept from its loyalty
    o legislature should not have power over executive but may examine actions
    o legislature may not accuse or try him based on “person” nor “conduct”
     (this would have been the difference b/w Nixon & Clinton had Nixon not stepped down) 
    ? Judicial & legistative should not mingle but for 3 exceptions
    o nobility should be tried before the legislature which is composed of nobles
    o the legislature reserves the power to lessen sentencing
    o the legislative part which represents the ppl. must bring charges of impeachment before the legislative part which represents the nobility
    Climate and the Laws
    ? Categorizes men by their environment
    o cold = strong & smart, warm = lazy & dumb
    o fertile soil/flat land = desired & easily conquered
    o mountainous = easily defended & since they have so little, they risk everything to keep what they have
    ? Advises that customs be changed by introducing and encouraging new custom rather than by force of law

    Baron de Montesquieu
    By: Rachel Nixon, Fall 2005

  • Life
    •  Montesquieu displayed more interest in writing about law than in practicing law.
    •  Believed that there was no one method in management that could be applied to all countries. ( For there are different ways of being civilized)
    •  Believed that proper organization of a country depended on time, physical conditions, climate, and traditions of each country.
    •  Launched what is known as the orthodox (standard) method of deliberating governmental organization.
    •  Believed that if a person from either or the executive branch of government is exercised by the same individual or assembly liberty would be threatened. (Separation of powers each branch of government contains different personnel as well as exercising different functions.
    •  His thinking influenced the writing of the Constitution.
  • The Relativity of Law
    •  The laws of each nation should be in relation to the nature and principle of each government: whether they form it, as may be said of public law; or whether they support it, as in case of civil institutions.
  • The Principles of Different Systems
    •  Believed that there are three species of government: republican, monarchical, and despotic (autocratic).
    •  Republican: the or only a part of the people posses supreme power
    •  Monarchial: a single person (hereditary) governs by fixed and established laws
    •  Despotic: a single person directs everything by his own will and caprice
  • Climate and the Laws
    •  Believed that colder regions held people who were more uptight and that warmer climates held people who were more laid back and the government should be mindful of this when establishing laws for it’s citizens.

    Alexis de Tocqueville, from Democracy in America,
    "The Irresistible Revolution"
    By Russ Barnwell, Fall 2009
  • De Tocqueville states that the call for democracy is almost a religious calling, one set forth by God Himself. 
    • We must accept that equality for all is indeed a religious calling and then attempt to guide that equality in a sustainable direction, rather than allowing it to progress through uncontrolled upheaval. 
    • He says that in France, where democracy has progressed the most out of the European countries, that it at first was worshipped as an almost all-knowing idol and allowed to progress uncontrollably. 
    • Then when its rapid, unregulated progression caused it to become a deeply flawed system, it was perceived as unfit for use in government and therefore discarded because there is no regulatory body to “less its vices and bring out its natural advantages.”
    • So in effect, at the time de Tocqueville wrote, many nations had destroyed the aristocratic structure of their government without fully accepting a democratic one. 
  • The Power of the Majority
    • Majority rule is a clear necessity for democratic states. He says America has intensified this principle by having a legislature elected directly and for very short terms. 
    • Americans believe that the minds of many men in agreement are more powerful than the mind of a sole man who stands in opposition to the majority. This notion is in direct contradiction to the old French monarchy and many other like it which vested absolute infallibility in their monarchs. 
    • In America, minorities tend to respect the rule of the majority because they hold out hope that they too will one day be a part of the majority.

    Alexis De Tocqueville, On Liberty
    Jonathan Lyons, Fall 2005

    -Alexis De Tocqueville was an observer of the American penal system and a political analyst of immeasurable importance.
    -De Tocqueville believed that a new era dawned with the French Revolution
    -De Tocqueville was an admitted aristocrat, but he recognized that aristocrats were becoming a thing of the past. 
    -The movement towards equality was a universal trend with America at its forefront.  De Tocqueville believed that movement towards equality could create uniformity, thus destroying liberty. 
    -Power of public opinion would lead to lesser individuality and therefore more mediocre individuals instead of outstanding ones.
    -De Tocqueville argued the need for local self-government, decentralized administration, widespread ownership of property, and for voluntary associations to maintain political liberties, to obtain stability and to guard against the tyranny of the majority and the demands of authority