The Social Contract Theory
A theory developed by Thomas Hobbes, James Harrington, John Locke, and Jean Jacques Rousseau in the 17th and 18th centuries. It says that in earlier times, humans lived in freedom with no government. Humans agreed with each other to create a state. By contract, people within a given area agreed to give up to the state as much power as was needed to promote the safety and well-being of all. The members of the state created a government to exercise the powers they had voluntarily given to the state. The theory says that the state serves the people, and that the people are the sole source of political power.