English Civil War The 1640s and 50s were a real mess in England, Ireland, and Scotland. Explosion of religious sects. Outright war between the king and parliament. Rebellion of the navy. Execution of a king. Three civil wars, almost 200,000 dead.(1, 2). Not surprising that Hobbes a bit pessimistic about humans capacity for getting along.
He admires human capacities but suggests they need to DO something with those capacities in order to accomplish order. "[Rationality] allows them to think themselves, as it were, out of the perilous situation of never-ending conflict" (14)
Humans can come together. They can contract with one another. But promises not enough.