For one to be a good citizen, there are certain expectations a person must follow to achieve this goal. While many people have their own ideas of what makes a good citizen, there is little consensus to exactly what this would be. Thomas Hobbes and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, in their books The Leviathan and The Social Contract, create a system of political governing where the citizen plays a certain role and has certain expectations to carry out this role for the governmental system to work properly. In this paper, I will discuss what each of the men believed to be the role of the average citizen to support the state. Both men have quite different opinions in regards to the roles of citizens.
While both are good theories, and create a strong case for government, neither is applicable in the real world because what is demanded of the citizen in these systems of government is based on certain assumptions. The assumptions made by these men, both good and bad, are not evident in the every day person. Thomas Hobbes believes, that all men are egocentric, by nature. This is to say that men spend their whole lives looking for what makes the happiest as an individual. Even when men socialize, it is not for the benefit of building strong ties be
“Without free, self-respecting, and autonomous citizens there can be no free and independent nations. Without internal peace, that is, peace among citizens and between the citizens and the state, there can be no guarantee of external peace.” – Vaclav Havel
“The true courage of civilized nations is readiness for sacrifice in the service of the state, so that the individual counts as only one amongst many. The important thing here is not personal mettle but aligning oneself with the universal.” – Georg Hegel
“Every good citizen makes his country’s honor his own, and cherishes it not only as precious but as sacred. He is willing to risk his life in its defense and its conscious that he gains protection while he gives it.” – Andrew Jackson
“It is not the function of our Government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the Government from falling into error.” – Robert H. Jackson
“A strict observance of the written laws is doubtless one of the high virtues of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation.” – Thomas Jefferson
“Our citizenship in the United States is our national character. Our citizenship in any particular state is only our local distinction. By the latter we are known at home, by the former to the world. Our great title is AMERICANS — our inferior one varies with the place.” – Thomas Paine
Relationship between an individual and a state in which the individual owes allegiance to the state and in turn is entitled to its protection. In general, full political rights, including the right to vote and to hold public office, are predicated on citizenship. Citizenship entails obligations, usually including allegiance, payment of taxes, and military service. The concept arose in ancient Greece, where citizenship was granted only to property owners. The Romans initially used it as a privilege to be conferred upon or withheld from conquered peoples, but it was granted to all the empire’s free inhabitants in AD 212. The concept disappeared in Europe during the feudal era but was revived in the Renaissance. Citizenship may normally be gained by birth within a certain territory, descent from a parent who is a citizen, marriage to a citizen, or naturalization. See also nationality.
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