John Locke's Influence On Government

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John Locke was one of the most important philosophers of the Enlightenment period. Born in 1632 in Somerset, England, Locke’s background led him to a political life. a fundamentally different philosophy of government. Thoughts and writings laid the foundation for liberal political philosophy. John Locke was an extremely influential historical figure whose writings directly inspired the foundation and structure of modern democratic states. John Locke inspired oppressed peoples to rebel against authoritarian rule and establish a new kind of government. In his First Treatise, Locke specifically targeted the legitimacy of the Divine Right of Kings. no longer taken seriously after 1688 (England adopted many of John Locke's ideas after 1688 glorious…show more content…
His explanation of individuals’ rights as being more important than the government inspired the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. For example, Locke argued that life, liberty and property were natural rights, and the Declaration of Independence directly incorporates this concept in its statement that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Americans today owe thanks to Locke for these freedoms, which are now protected by our Constitution. Moreover, the new republics of France and America adopted the idea of human equality, government by consent of the governed, the right of citizens to resist tyranny, and the importance of separation of powers. Specifically, in America, the structure of the government bares a lot of symmetry to his writings on checks and balances, including multiple branches of government. Today, the United States divides powers between the federal government’s executive, legislative and judicial branches. This was done in order to ensure that neither the President’s administration, nor the Congress, nor the courts can wield too much power over the country before another branch pushes back. This structure helps protect American citizens from becoming the subjects of a tyrannical government. Moreover, beyond separating governmental powers, Locke wrote about separation of church and state, another idea that is imperative to preserving religious tolerance in today’s
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