One thinker dominates the beginnings of Anglo-American liberal thought, and that individual is Thomas Hobbes. Hobbes’s theoretical system ranges from discussion of the forces governing the universe and epistemological explanations to the implementation of legal directives. Although they are far removed in time and condition from seventeenth-century England, Americans remain heavily indebted to many of the political ideas of that era. The social foundations constructed from the axioms of religion, tradition, and custom were seriously weakened by Hobbes’s clear articulation of the position that government legitimacy in its origins stemmed from the perceived needs of those who founded it. The assumptions and values that dominated eighteenth-century English politics were so overwhelming because, at the fundamental level at which they were operative, they existed unnoticed. The social cohesiveness of the classes ruling England in the eighteenth century has received the attention of several writers.