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…show more content…
Locke’s foundation for all his assertions on liberty is “that creatures of the same species and rank, promiscuously born to all the same advantages of nature, and the use of the same faculties, should be also equal” (Locke 8). With this comes “natural liberty” which Locke defines as “to be free from any superior power on earth,…to have only the law of nature for his rule” (Locke 17). The state of nature is something that all men are born into, but must leave to gain both stability and law because in the state of nature, as Locke write above, nature is the only force that rules man. Once one leaves the state of nature a shift is seen; now, “the liberty of man, in society, is to be under no other legislative power, but, that established, by consent” (Locke 17). Locke equates the “law of Nature” as being related to the “law of God” and it is here where Locke’s argument can be seen as divinely ordained, in the same way Louis XIV’s rule was vested in God’s power (Locke 7). However, the two had two very different goals in deriving the basis for their power in
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