Ancient World 551 BCE Confucius (551-479 BCE) Chinese philosopher and educatorTeachings are rooted in the belief that a ruler should learn self-discipline & govern his subjects by his own example. “If the people be led by laws, and uniformity among them be sought by punishments, they will try to escape punishment and have no sense of shame.
If they are led by virtue, and uniformity sought among them through the practice of ritual propriety, they will possess a sense of shame and come to you of their own accord” (Lunyu 2.3)469 BCE Socrates (469-384 BCE) Athenian philosopher who is credited with laying the foundations of western philosophyIn the 5th century BC Athens pioneers an experiment in direct democracy, as opposed to the representative democracy of modern societies.428 BCE Plato (428-347 BCE) Athenian philosopher, recorder of Socratic dialogue and critic of democracy.
He, like his teacher Socrates, had great misgivings about the capacity of the people to make rational decisions on the running of the Athenian state, and that with time, democracy would collapse into tyranny. As a result, conflict would emerge between sectional interests who are all wanting the fulfilment of their desires, meaning consideration of the common good is replaced with consideration of the self. 7–2 BCE to 30–33 CE Jesus Also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth: founder of Christianity.325 AD First Council of Nicea The first of the ecumenical councils in an effort to gain consensus in the Church through an assembly representing all of Christendom. Later- the Nicene Creed was approved in the 381 Council of Constantinople and became the first official statement of Christian belief.
The Middle Ages 570 Muhammad (570-632) Arab prophet and founder of Islam1215 Magna Carta King John agreed to the terms after an uprising by a group of rebel barons. Statement of civil rights and fundamental document of the English constitution.3 primary terms- one defends the liberties and rights of the English Church, another confirms the liberties and customs of London and other towns, and the third gives all English subjects the right to justice and a fair trial . “To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay right or justice.”1469 Machiavelli (1469-1527)Pragmatic Florentine political advisor. Famous for his amoral approach to the exercise of authority.
Machiavelli said that the prince is the state, and the state is the prince.Before Machiavelli, politics was strictly bonded with ethics, in theory if not in practice- he was the first theorist to separate politics from ethics. The Enlightenment 1632 John Locke (1632-1704) English political philosopher of The Enlightenment. Proponent of the concept of universal human rights and of the concept of a social contract.Social Contract Theory is the view that person’s moral and political obligations are dependent upon a contract or agreement among them to form the society in which they live. One of the most dominant theories within moral and political theory throughout the history of the modern West.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau(1712-1778) was the official author this theory- he in many ways laid the ideological foundations for the French revolution. 1689 The Bill of Rights English legislation that restricted the powers of the monarchy and established the rights of a free Parliament.Included requirements for regular parliaments, free elections and the freedom of speech. Also mentioned the prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment.
1711 David Hume (1711-1776) Scottish philosopher, and historian. early economist. Opponent of mercantilism and of government intervention in commerce.1723 Adam Smith (1723-1790) “Father of Economics”, Early thinker about government expenditure and taxation.Smith proposed the idea of the invisible hand—the tendency of free markets to regulate themselves by means of competition, supply and demand, and self-interest.”It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we can expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest,” Smith wrote.1724 Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) Prussian Enlightenment philosopher. Advocate of human rights and opponent of state paternalism.
Doctrine of Rechtsstaat: the power of the state is limited in order to protect citizens from the arbitrary exercise of authority. A country cannot be a liberal democracy without first being a Rechtsstaat. 1751 James Madison (1751-1836) American politician, political theorist and fourth President of the United States. Known as the “Father of the Bill of Rights.” Advocate of checks and balances to limit the powers of special interests.1774 American Revolution The armed struggle that gave the United States independence from Britain.
1776 Declaration of Independence by the United States of America1789 Storming of the Bastille Start of the French Revolution1791 The United States Bill of Rights. The first ten amendments to the constitution The first of which guarantees freedom of religion, speech, press, and peaceable assembly.The other nine include the right to bear arms, the right against unreasonable searches and seizures and the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury. 19th Century1818 Karl Marx (1818-1883)When it comes to Marxist politics, Marxists see the world as a struggle between the bourgeoisie (owners of private property and the means of production) and the proletariat (workers), with economics as the foundation on which the rest of society is built.In Marxism, the struggle to control the forces of production is the dynamic force behind human development. The economic system determines other features of a society, including its political structure. Genuine democracy is not the aim of Marxist politics, and in fact Marxists view democracy as little more than a necessary evil. V.
I. Lenin explains, “Democracy is a state which recognizes the subordination of the minority to the majority, i.e.
, an organization for the systematic use of force by one class against another, by one section of the population against another.”1844 Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) Originator of the concept of “superman”: Übermensch theory. This superior man would not be a product of long evolution; rather, he would emerge when any man with superior potential completely masters himself and strikes off conventional Christian “herd morality” to create his own values, which are completely rooted in life on this earth. 1848 The Communist Manifesto 1848 political pamphlet by German philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. It presents an analytical approach to the class struggle (historical and then-present) and the problems of capitalism and the capitalist mode of production, rather than a prediction of communism’s potential future forms.
“The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles”. It also briefly features their ideas for how the capitalist society of the time would eventually be replaced by socialism.20th and 21st Centuries1914 First World War (1914-1918)1917 Russian RevolutionOctober revolution led by the Bolsheviks that lead to the start of the first attempt at establishing a communist state. Lead by Lenin and consisted of storming the Winter Palace and overthrowing the Tsar.
The communist state (USSR) would eventually dissolve in 1991. 1919 League of Nations The first attempt at collective security and diplomacy. Precursor to the UN. At its greatest extent from 28 September 1934 to 23 February 1935, it had 58 members.The League ultimately proved incapable of preventing aggression by the Axis powers in the 1930s.
The credibility of the organization was somewhat weakened by the fact that the United States never officially joined the League and the Soviet Union joined late and only briefly. 1939 Second World War (1939-45)Lead to the deterioration of US-USSR relations, leading to a major Cold War. Lead to decolonisation.
1946 The Court of International Justice Set up to resolve legal disputes between member country and advise on legal questions referred to it.1998 The Rome StatuteSets up the International Criminal Court to prosecute genocide, war crimes and other crimes against humanity.