The revolution in Utopia – Thomas More

In Utopia, book I, Thomas More shows his idealized conception of the government of the men.

A certain Raphael Hythlodeus, the navigator who discovered the island of Utopia, formulates a moral of the government. The king, who constitutes this government, must help his people and serve them.

Let us note two extracts of the book I ofUtopia:

Men have made kings for men, and not for kings; they have put chiefs at their head to live conveniently sheltered from violence and insult.

This excerpt tells us what the role of the king is: it is to serve men, to serve his people. Secondly, it tells us that it is the people who have placed a king at their head, the king has been placed by the community of men. Thirdly, that the revolution, whose character is naturally abrupt, does not go with the natural will of a citizen: this one wishes to protect himself from the violence, and this is why he sets up a government.

A little later:

What man is it that most eagerly desires a revolution? Is it not the one whose present existence is miserable? Which man will be more daring in overturning the state? Is it not the one who can only gain, because he has nothing to lose?

It is therefore the one who is no longer safe from violence, who is miserable, who has every interest in making a revolution.

One should not forget also the context in which was written the work: Thomas More wished to limit the royal power, because Henry VIII, whose he was however the protected one time, was tyrannical.

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