Social Studies - 2019-20

GOVT.2c - the writings of Hobbes, Locke, and Montesquieu

The student will apply social science skills to understand the political philosophies that shaped the development of Virginia and United States constitutional government by 

c) evaluating the writings of Hobbes, Locke, and Montesquieu

Adopted: 2015


Big Themes/Concepts: Origins, Power & Authority

How does a country's political origins impact how it operates today?

How does the Constitution reflect the times in which it was written?


Principles of government and law developed by leading European political thinkers Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Montesquieu may be found in the Constitution of Virginia, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution of the United States. 


Fundamental political principles: 

  • Limited government: John Locke (Constitution of Virginia, Constitution of the United States, Declaration of Independence) 
  • Government’s authority coming only from the consent of the governed: Thomas Hobbes, John Locke (Declaration of Independence, Constitution of the United States) 
  • Separation of powers: Montesquieu (Constitution of the United States, Constitution of Virginia)


Updated: Jun 22, 2017