The aim of this essay is to shed light on the development of the idea of justice in the modern period in context of social change. For that purpose, the essay starts with an introductory discussion of the concept of justice which underlies this idea (1) and then there is an analysis of the contractualist justification for a just national order in the Early Modern Period against the background of the development of the modern state (2). Following this, the theoretical basic ideas and social forces of the fight for civil liberty and democratic participation are examined. Subsequently, the development of the currently prevalent views on social justice is analysed. The essay ends with some remarks about problems of justice in current society and the future challenges for the fight for justice.