Why should I obey the law?
When Socrates was imprisoned, Crito persuades him to leave. Socrates says he has lived in the city and benefited from it. He believed he had to remain in prison to agree with law because he has remained in the city. He believed we have a contract between us as a citizen and the state. Socrates seems to be the first philosopher who came to the idea about a contract but it wasn't until Hobbes, Locke and Machiavelli wrote these.
Hobbes believes people in the state of nature are aggressive, he has seen this first hand with the lawless culture during the civil war 1641-1651. Hobbes wrote the Leviathan in 1651.
This book is considered the most earliest and influential examples of a social contract. Before he wrote this contract he believed with live in a state of nature "every man against every man". The Leviathan is a contract where the people agreed to be represented by a sovereign and hand over the power to it. The Leviathan is there to protect you therefore if it doesn't defend you then you have the right of self defence.
Locke disagreed with the idea of the state of nature being aggressive. His idea was that people have natural laws, that every man had ready made knowledge and knew what was wrong and wrong. "Interwoven in the constitution of human mind." Locke agrees that there is a need for a judge and a government but proposed something different to Hobbes, a concept that the government only rules for laws. Taxes could only be taken with people's consent and citizens could rebel if their government ceased to respect the law. His ideas are to form more of a collaborative state where the government protects things we own like a house, and at this time this was the most important thing to people.
Machiavelli wrote 'The Prince' in 1459, this was the beginning of political science. The book was like a manual for citizens which mainly taught a ruler will perish if he is always good. The work was key of the Renaissance 'Man is the measure of all things'-not God. It teachers that a ruler must learn to be good.