John Locke is a famous and influential 17th century English philosopher and political theorist who not only influenced and laid the ground work for the Enlightenment, but who also influenced the foundations of the American Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Being one of the authors of the Social Contract Theory, he paved the way for democracy, republicanism and liberalism. One of his most important and notable work’s to this day is the “Two Treatises of Civil Government,” which is the document in which the American founding fathers accredited their work to as they used his political theories to draft both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
John Locke, a 17th century philosopher from England, was a man who contained many ideas and theories on how particular civilizations should operate. John Locke philosophized “that there was an unspoken law amongst men known as “The Law of Nature” (“state of nature” Locke). The “law of nature” depicts a community in which there was only moral law. Thus the “law of nature” portrays a “state of perfect freedom where all men share their equality” (“state of nature”4). This statement basically states that “no one has power over another and are free (Locke 4)” to govern themselves accordingly. Yet, this theory that man are equal and can govern themselves does not abide by abuse or harm to another. Locke states that “all mankind who abide by the law of nature are equal and may not
Locke repeats himself often in his arguments. He refers to his belief of natural reason and God’s words to deliver his theory of private property. He begins his discussion of property in the state of nature (Locke 6 sect. 25). Locke’s state of nature demonstrates a state which entails perfect freedom and the right to one’s own actions and possessions (Locke 2 sect. 4). He then
The historical development of the world from 1690 to 1830 wouldn’t be what it was if it weren’t for John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government. Locke’s Second Treatise not only sparked individualism, but also revolutions, and was a guide to the creations of declarations around the world. Two main revolutions and declarations that Locke’s ideas inspired were the American Revolution and the French Revolution.
John Locke (29 August 1632 – 28 October 1704) is a English philosopher and physician regarded as one of the most influential of the Enlightenment thinkers and known as the "Father of Classical Liberalism”. Locke got a scholarship to Oxford University where he spent 30 years at Oxford, studying, tutoring, and writing. He wrote influential political science and philosophy. Locke 's famous theory had to do with the Social Contract theory. The Social Contract covers the origin of government and how much authority a state should have over an individual. In the Two Treatises of Government (1689), he defended the claim that men are naturally free and equal against claims that God had made all people naturally subject to a monarch. With both biblical and philosophical justifications, Locke argued in defense of constitutionalism. He believed God gave Adam natural rights like; life, liberty, and property in the book of Genesis and Adam passed it on to the rest of
John Locke and Baron de Montesquieu were political philosophers that debated the question of who was best fit to control the government. Locke and Montesquieu shared similar political beliefs such as natural rights and the separation of government powers. However, both philosophers did, in fact, have their personal views that helped them accomplish important achievements. John Locke published “Two Treatises of Government” and “ An Essay Concerning Human Understanding,” which present a detail philosophy of the mind and thought. Locke’s “An Essay Concerning Human Understanding,” lays out his philosophical project. Locke’s philosophical project consisted of discovering where our ideas come from, what an idea is, and to examine issues of faith
Locke’s ideas from the Two Treatises of Government and An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, were based upon the natural rights where power comes from the people. Both of his pieces contributed to revolutions, most importantly the American Revolution as power from monarchies was removed and democracies were created. Allowed for limited government power and all obligations were to the citizens. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding basis was on how the knowledge existence of God, certain moral truths, and laws of logic or mathematics pertained to the natural rights of
Locke's most important and influential political writings are contained in his Two Treatises on Government. The first treatise is concerned almost exclusively with refuting the argument that political authority was derived from religious authority. The second treatise contains Locke’s own constructive view of the aims and justification for civil government. According to Locke, the State of Nature, the natural condition of mankind, is a state of perfect and complete liberty to conduct one's life as one best sees fit, free from the interference of others. This does not mean, however, that it is a state of license: one is not free to do anything at all one pleases, or even anything that one judges to be in one’s interest. The State of Nature, although a state wherein there is no civil authority or government to punish people for transgressions against laws, is not a state without morality. To Locke, persons are assumed to be equal to one another in such a state, and therefore equally capable of discovering and being bound by the Law of Nature. The Law of Nature, which is on Locke’s view the basis of all morality, and given to us by God, commands that we not harm others with regards to their life, health, liberty, or possessions. This is because we all belong equally to God, and because we cannot take away that which is rightfully His, we are prohibited from harming one another. So, the State of Nature is a state of liberty where persons are free to pursue their own interests and plans, free from interference, and, because of the Law of Nature and the restrictions that it imposes upon persons, it is relatively peaceful. The State of Nature therefore, is not the same as the state of war. It can, however devolve into a state of war, in particular, a state of war over property disputes. Whereas the State of Nature is the state of liberty where persons recognize the Law of Nature and therefore do not harm one
It is necessary for man to give up certain liberties under the laws of nature when entering into society. Locke states that they must “give up the equality, liberty, and executive power they had in the state of nature”. This is for the intention of better preserving himself. Locke favored representative government, where citizens are permitted to vote and elect members to represent the public in government.
John Locke views civil society—a group that is under the authority of an exclusive leader who is in charge of protecting their welfare through legislation—as a crucial repellant to absolute monarchy as well as vital to protecting an individual’s property, because its origin which is the paternal model where an individual gives up certain rights in return for protection from an executive. In his Second Treatise on Government, Locke pushes the idea that God did not intend for a man to be alone, but to have the option of joining a society amongst other men. Continuing with this notion, he explains the origins of the civil society through the paternal model which he considers as the beginning of society of people coming together under one man.
Locke helped shape the United States government and many other nations governing systems around the world. Locke believed all men were born with the rights of life or your natural rights of liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and a government should protect and respect the rights of individuals. Under the protection of your government he believed “whom the society hath set over itself, with this express or tacit trust, that it shall be employed for their good, and the preservation of their property: now this power, which every man has in the state of nature, and which he parts with to the society in all such cases where the society can secure him, is to use such means, for the preserving of his own property, as he thinks good, and nature allows him; and to punish the breach of the law of nature in other” (Document C). By introducing natural rights the common people gained more power through an equality between all men. Natural rights gave people the right to possess and protect their own property both physical items and personal ideals. Natural rights changed many viewpoints on class order and social rights because it took power away from kings and nobles and gave power to the individual. Today our country’s men and women would not be able to speak their mind or buy land without the consent of their government or church.
In a segment of, Of the State of Nature in Document A, John Locke writes, “We must consider, what state all men are naturally in, and that is, a state of perfect freedom to order their actions...within the bounds of nature.” In, Of the Dissolution of Government, one part of the segment is, “The people are at liberty to provide for themselves.” All of the evidence is from John Locke himself. He wrote both of the books, Of the State of Nature and Of the Dissolution of Government. Both segments of the document include people having the choice to their own
New England was fed up with the Church of England and the Puritans wanted to recreate their own religion which they thought was more what God had believed was the intended belief. They both decided that neither of them like the way England was set up and said that England was no good for their beliefs. They planned to leave England and go to the new world to set up a life where their children had the chance to be raised in a perfect society with no corruption. Concentrated on town life and industries, they made a living off of fishing, whaling and shipbuilding. Whale oil was key because it made their lamps. Farming was useful for crops like wheat but corn, pumpkin and beans were planted because they were able to grow in the poor soil they had.
When examining a core concept in an argument, it is important to inquire to whether its treatment is adequate. Is either definition of liberty sufficient, and does either author’s envisioned government adequately address liberty in that system? This paper will argue that Locke’s definition of liberty remains in the literal sphere while Tocqueville’s is more conceptual, but neither Locke’s nor Tocqueville’s
Everyone has a perspective of their own about the government whether it be good or bad. Ancient Greek philosopher Plato and English philosopher John Locke both discuss the topic of government in their literatures. In the Republic by Plato, Plato introduces this concept of a just city. In this city, he believes that the older and wisest person(s) should rule as they are very knowledgeable. Everyone is born innately different according to Plato. Only those who are born with true philosophical understanding can rule. In the Second Treatise by John Locke, Locke addresses the state of nature, which is essentially equality and freedom. Even though people have liberty, they still need to obey natural laws. On the contrary of Plato’s just city, Locke believes that absolute authority is not a civil government. A civil society is where the majority rules. In the conclusion of this paper, I will have illustrated that Plato’s government view is more valid than of Locke’s.