Exploration of the 18th and 19th Century Thinkers<br />
ThinkersBeliefs How Their Ideas Were Radical at that TimeHow Their Ideas Are Related to Classical LiberalismHobbesHumans are naturally selfish and could live in peace by giving up all of their political rights to a ruler (Leviathan) who would in turn protect them.If the leader did not protect the citizens, they could overthrow him.Hobbes valued the worth and protection of individual subjects.Believed in a Social contract.Hobbes emphasis on the best interests of individuals (even under a strong political authority) reflects the importance of rights and freedoms. Social contract implies a degree of accountability.LockeFocuses on reason and logic to determine actions. Believed humans inalienable natural rights; Life, liberty, security, private property.Government accountability to the people.Ownership and protection of private property.Believed in a Social contract.Advocated for rule of law and protection of civil liberties, rights, and freedoms under a constitution.MontesquieuSeparation of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government which would keep the government accountable. Wanted to eliminate the French Monarchy.Placed high importance on the rule of law, the constitutional limitations on government, and the primacy of individual rights and freedoms.SmithBelieved that if individuals were free to make their own decisions in free markets, their self-interest (invisible hand) would benefit society as a whole. Opposition to the current economic system (mercantilism).Free market and limited government role in the economy were controversial ideas.Economist ideas are directly related to economic freedom, self-interest, competition, and private property. Ideas can also be tied to rule of law (contracts) and individual rights and freedoms. MillBelieved in individual rights and freedoms as well as free speech. Only limitation should be if one’s actions could harm another. Emphasis on rights and freedoms in an era where these rights were restricted.Individual rights and freedoms.RicardoThe wages paid to workers should be determined by supply and demand for their skills. Government should not regulate this at all.Capitalist economic principles without government interference were controversial.Self-interest, competition, and economic freedom.DickensBelieved in individual rights and freedoms. Also that freedom was limited because machinery and industries were polluting the natural environment. People were being put in poor working habits, and the children did not get a chance to enjoy childhood because they were put into work as soon as they were capable.Individual rights and freedoms.