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The Essex Result of 1778 - Assignment Example

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The author explains what he/she understand to be the fundamental argument about the sovereignty in the Essex result of 1778. The author also describes in which ways does it reflect or reject Enlightenment thinking or values of the enlightened individual as rational, autonomous, and free. …
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The Essex Result of 1778
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Download file to see previous pages The text explains that the only occasion when the supreme power can take control of the inalienable rights is "only when the good of the whole requires it". If the supreme power is acting only for some individual's personal interests by taking control of the inalienable rights of each individual, then the supreme power is usurping the power.
Each individual should receive a counterpart when surrendering his/her inalienable rights for the supreme power to be fair. In other cases, the supreme power is a usurper and if it acted in such a way that the individuals do not have political liberty, then the power is illegal and the individuals are not bound to obey.
This extract is directly linked to the concept of popular sovereignty as presented by Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau through the school of the social contract. The main concept of popular sovereignty is that the consent of the governed gives legitimacy to the rule of law i.e. the population who forms a society, a politic body or a state are the true source of legitimacy to the supreme power through their consent and it is not the supreme power which holds its own legitimacy through the power it has been awarded by the population. This concept is central in many democracies and it is, therefore, no surprise that we shall encounter it in the critical report on the draft constitution for Massachusetts.
Furthermore, the concept of popular sovereignty also tackles the idea that each individual enters a social contract with the supreme power where he may surrender some of its inalienable rights receiving in return protection from the dangers and hazards of the state of nature.
If we consider this extract to be in direct connection with the ideas of the social contract and the popular sovereignty as stated by Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau; we cannot dissociate this extract from the values of the Enlightenment as these philosophers are the founders of this movement. However, it would be rhetorically poor to draw this conclusion with such a simple analogy. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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