Comparing Versailles And John Locke's Second Treatise On Government

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Both King Louis XIV’s Versailles and John Locke’s Second Treatise on Government are imbued with ideas that are substantiated by divine providence in one form or another. In Versailles, this idea is that of the King’s divine reign which validates Louis XIV’s kingship. Locke, on the other hand, suggests all men are born inherently equal into God’s state of nature and have a right to liberty. While both Locke and Louis XIV substantiate their arguments through divine authority, their claims as to what God ordains is markedly different; Locke is claiming that all people must adhere to the law of nature but can chose to consent to government—thus discrediting the divine right of kings which is exactly what Louis XIV tries to convince his subjects of through Versailles.
The palace of Versailles has a dual function, both symbolizing and furthering the divine power of Louis XIV. The can be seen foremost in the shape of
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He demands that political power must be derived from the consent of the governed and not be “the product only of force and violence,” and to protect men ensuring that they will no longer be ruled by “beasts” (Locke 7). The Palace of Versailles is a visual representation of the belief that in some ways King Louis XIV was an agent of God—that he was connected to Him in some fundamental way—and thus God sanctioned his actions and his rule and none of his subjects could interfere with it; as such, King Louis XIV only answered to God. John Locke’s argument is rooted in a belief in God’s inherent power over man and His rules imposed through nature. However, the conclusion of Locke’s argument differs in form and function. Rather than giving a single man power through God, like a king, he shows in his arguments for freedom and liberty that men are controlled by God’s laws of nature and government can only gain control over them through their freely given
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