Origin of modern political concepts

political concept of human rights

If you wish to understand contemporary political notions, then you must have an idea of the source of these ideas and the historical events that helped shape these concepts. For example, the political theory of democracy traces its roots back to the ancient Greek civilization. Famous social and political thinkers like Plato and Aristotle were among the first to discuss the importance of the common man participating in the political process of a country. They supported the idea of political discussion and the importance of being a virtuous leader.

Additionally, it was the ancient Greeks who developed the notion of 'citizens.' It was Aristotle who first conceptualized that a citizen is a person whose parents and preferably two generations of grandparents have lived and worked in that particular country. Although this is a simplification of a complex political idea, yet it was the beginning of the political question and political concepts. 

Thus, the origins of political beliefs go back many centuries. Some of the common roots of major political ideas and the events that helped develop these notions are as follows. These notions also form crucial topics for custom essay writing and you can pay for essay cheap and get it written by companies.

The political concept of human rights

The right to live with dignity and free of persecution forms the foundation of human rights. This concept was first developed in France. The French Revolution, which started in 1789, was the first major political upheaval that had far-reaching influence. The idea of 'fraternity,' 'equality,' and 'liberty' was first coined during the French Revolution. Though it was a revolution that was started by the 'Third Estate' of France against their feudal masters, yet this Revolution soon engulfed the nation. It subsequently became a precedent for other revolutions across the globe. Herein the concept of human rights was first explored. As monarchy was abolished from France, a form of democratic government was set up. The 'Declaration of the Rights of Man as a Citizen' published by the French National Assembly on 26th August 1789, laid the foundation for the modern notion of human rights. For the first time, the common man realized that he could not be persecuted based on his birth. 

Constitutional rights

The French Revolution also helped in the development of a definitive form of governance. The French Constitution, which was developed in 1791, laid the basis for democracy and the concept of constitutional remedy. The Declaration laid the foundation for the idea of an organized form of law and order. This legal system would consider everyone to be equal. No discrimination would be done between rich and poor, powerful, and moneyed class within this legal framework. The modern notion of law and order and its subsequent political implications also comes from the French Revolution. The social thinkers of the contemporary era believe in broadening the political perspective of humanity. Political thinkers believe that law should be all-inclusive. People from all sections of society, religious and social beliefs, should all be included in a single legal framework. For a country to be a politically prosperous and real democracy, its legal framework must take into consideration the weakest and the marginalized in society. Only when these sections of society are included in the mainstream can a country be politically free and modern. This concept of law is equal for all forms the crux of contemporary political theory.

Social rights of man

Humankind needs to carry out its social obligations to the state. To do so, he must have political freedom. Certain political philosophers like Thomas Hobbes believed in the development of a central authoritarian governing body. According to Hobbes, this was important to prevent civil wars and revolutions that could cripple the socio-economic condition of a country. However, Locke differed from this notion and believed that man by nature is reasonable and tolerant. Locke first developed this idea of personal liberty, and he soon came to be known as 'Father of Liberalism.'

Nevertheless, a man should be allowed to pursue his happiness, live life free of persecution, and be allowed to possess things. Although the two ideas of the social contract seem contradictory, yet this is precisely what modern capitalism is about. Contemporary political thinkers believe that man should be allowed to pursue his happiness, but not at the cost of the state. The state or the country is essential, and his pursuance of happiness should help the nation to progress. This goes back to the time of Aristotle when he states that it is only a virtuous man who should be given the position of authority in the government. Thus, modern-day political thoughts regarding the social rights of man and his social contract with the state can be traced back to the Enlightenment Era. 

Changes in political thought after industrialization

As economic conditions across the world changed with industrialization, political concepts changed as well. With industrialization came the idea of colonialism. This created the development of a new master-slave relation, where another dominated an entire nation. Here irrespective of the ethnicities of the country, the colonized came under the yoke of the colonizing master. This changed the political thought process as now political freedom meant the removal of the colonizer and establishment of a government set up by the natives. Personal freedom soon became a part of the idea of political liberty. Countries like the United States of America, India, South Asian nations, and many African countries started what came to be known as a struggle for freedom, independence, and liberty. However, the governments set up by the free nations were influenced by Western political philosophies and theories. Thus, political thought now became global, and modern political concepts have become all the more inclusive.

Thus, modern political concepts trace its roots right to Greek antiquity, French Revolution, Era of Enlightenment, and the Industrial Revolution. Political thought is an ever-evolving idea that has now become global and all-inclusive. Political thought, ideas, concepts, and philosophy is still changing as the social and economic conditions of the word change. Neverthelesspolitical concept of human rights, it always originates from Greek antiquity right up to the Industrial Revolution. 


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Apr 14, 2020


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