With regard to his position on religious tolerance, Locke was influenced by Baptist theologians like John Smyth and Thomas Helwys , who had published tracts demanding freedom of conscience in the early 17th century.    Baptist theologian Roger Williams founded the colony Rhode Island in 1636, where he combined a democratic constitution with unlimited religious freedom. His tract The Bloody Tenent of Persecution for Cause of Conscience (1644), which was widely read in the mother country, was a passionate plea for absolute religious freedom and the total separation of church and state.  Freedom of conscience had had high priority on the theological, philosophical and political agenda, since Martin Luther refused to recant his beliefs before the Diet of the Holy Roman Empire at Worms in 1521, unless he would be proved false by the Bible. 
In Leviathan , written during the English Civil Wars (1642-1651), Hobbes argues for the necessity and natural evolution of the social contract, a social construct in which individuals mutually unite into political societies, agreeing to abide by common rules and accept resultant duties to protect themselves and one another from whatever might come otherwise. He also advocates rule by an absolute sovereign, saying that chaos--and other situations identified with a "state of nature" (a pre-government state in which individuals' actions are bound only by those individuals' desires and restraints)--could be averted only by a strong central government, one with the power of the biblical Leviathan (a sea creature), which would protect people from their own selfishness. He also warned of "the war of all against all" ( Bellum omnium contra omnes ), a motto that went on to greater fame and represented Hobbes' view of humanity without government.