School Papers

Social could allow the rebellion to continue, or

Social contracts can be observed in civilizations throughout history. Social contract theory is a mutually beneficial agreement between an individual and the community and or government. The people or the individual gives support to the government or community because they know that they will get security and protection for doing so. Sometimes supporting the government means giving away certain rights to receive that security and protection. Social contracts such as the Magna Carta and the system of government of Ancient Athens have helped to build the foundation of modern government, which is why it is very important.The Magna Carta was a charter that the barons of 13th century England made in response to King John’s failure to lower taxes as well as his poor military leadership and diplomacy skills (“Magna Carta”). Written in 1215, it was not accepted by the king until a rebellion broke out across the country. King John had two choices: he could allow the rebellion to continue, or he could sign the Magna Carta and agree to abide by the common law (“Magna Carta”). Even though the King chose to sign the Magna Carta, it failed, causing a civil war to break out after just three months of peace (“Magna Carta”). The Magna Carta was the first official document that held the King accountable for his actions and provided security for the barons, though it was not delivered upon (“Magna Carta”).Another social contract took place in Ancient Athens in the early 500s BC in the form the Assembly. Every man in Athens was encouraged to have a voice in government and was given the opportunity to present their opinion in front of the entire city in what was known as the Assembly (Blackwell, 2). Even though every man was encouraged to speak, it didn’t mean that that the man had the right to unbridled freedom of speech. Older men spoke before the younger men, issues that had already been resolved were not open for discussion, and the crowd could become deafening and would shut down unpopular opinions (Blackwell, 3). No Athenian ever explicitly signed a paper agreeing to these rules, but if they wanted a hand in policy-making, they had to abide by them. Today, this style of decision-making can be seen in recent town meetings and even in presidential caucuses.Studying social contract theory is important because students need to know how the world works. A social contract is a negotiation and a way to make sure someone holds up their end of the bargain. All citizens of the United States have a social contract theory with the government. The government promises us security, and in return, they get support from the citizens. Citizens need to know what rights they are being asked to give up and they also need to be able to have a say in government policy.Social contract theory has not always been successful, but the few times that it has been, it has helped create the principles that modern civilizations standby. The British philosopher, Thomas Hobbes, once described a world without social contracts as “Solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short” (CrashCourse, Contractarianism: Crash Course Philosophy #37″). Humans have always needed each other to survive, and understanding this helps maintain the function of such complex relationships.