The Social Contract was written by Jean-Jacques Rousseau and published in 1762. With the famous phrase, "man is born free, but he is everywhere in chains," Rousseau asserts that modern states repress the physical freedom that is our birthright. His principal aim in The Social Contract is to determine how freedom may be possible in civil society.

Key Terms & People

Reference these lists of key terms and people to consult as you study The Social Contract

Deeper Study

Go deeper into The Social Contract by reading essays providing background on the work as well as essays on concepts and questions that are specific to it.

Quick Quiz

Test your knowledge of The Social Contract with these quiz questions.