Social Contract Theory and American Justice Analytical Essay by Nicky

An analysis of the parallels between John Locke's social contract theory and modern American principles of justice.
# 145651 | 834 words | 4 sources | APA | 2010 | US

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The paper explains the fundamental principles underlying Locke's theory of social contract and civil government, and draws the
parallels between this theory and contemporary concepts of American justice. The paper shows how the general premise of modern American principles of justice, that citizens have the right to live free from unjustified intrusions and deprivations, both at the hands of other citizens and by virtue of unwarranted exercise of state authority, has its roots in Locke's theory of many years earlier.

John Locke's Concept of Social Contract
Parallels to Contemporary American Justice

From the Paper:

"John Locke (1632-1704) published his theory of Social Contract in his Treatise on Civil Government in 1688, the same year of the so-called Glorious Revolution in England, so named for the bloodless overthrow of King James II and the assumption of the British throne by William III, formerly the Prince of Orange. Like Thomas Hobbes, Locke focused on the concept of Natural Rights as the precursor of modern social values and ideals. However, whereas Hobbes dismissed the importance of Social Contract in light of man's inability to keep manmade agreements, Locke maintained that nature was an imperfect state that required human constructs (i.e. social contracts) to improve human society for the benefit of everyone in society (Taylor, 1999). On the other hand, Locke presented a more optimistic view of human nature than man of his contemporaries, one that is more consistent with those of modern social theorists and moral philosophers (Kluger, 2007)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Friedman, L. M. (2005). A History of American Law 3rd Edition. New York: Simon & Schuster.
  • Kluger, J. (2007). What Makes Us Moral? Time Magazine; Vol. 170 No. 23, Dec. 3/07 (pp. 54-60)
  • Schmalleger, F. (2008) Criminal Justice Today: An Introductory Text for the 21st Century. New Jersey: Prentice Hall
  • Taylor, R. (1999). Freedom, Anarchy, and the Law: An Introduction to Political Philosophy. Buffalo: Prometheus.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Social Contract Theory and American Justice (2010, November 21) Retrieved April 19, 2024, from

MLA Format

"Social Contract Theory and American Justice" 21 November 2010. Web. 19 April. 2024. <>