How did Enlightenment thinkers defend liberty?

Since they disputed the Hobbesian concept of the government as Leviathan, yet acknowledged that anarchy was not a desirable situation, how did they answer this question, as it might have been phrased at the time: “What is government, save compelling men to do that which they would not? Wherefore liberty then?” What middle ground did they propose and how did they defend that?

A relatively universally adopted set of moral axioms that people lived by while exercising liberty.

Locke was far more influential than Hobbes.