Similarities Between John Locke's Second Treatise Of Government And The Commonwealth Of Oceana

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John Locke in 1690 wrote Second Treatise of Government and in 1656 James Harrington The Commonwealth of Oceana. Both documents and the ideas contained within them challenged the current day social institutions and beliefs and helped the creation of the Constitution and Bill of Rights come forth. Using their ideas, the founding fathers of our country framed the Constitution and Bill of Rights to flow and work together to shape the society we live in today. Locke’s ideas centered around the protection of natural rights and the authority of the governing body. Everyone shared the same natural rights and “may not, unless it be to do justice on an offender, take away, or impair the life, or what tends to the preservation of the life, the liberty, health, limb, or goods of another” (Locke 38). Locke believed that people would come together and create a society where they are governed “for the mutual preservation of their lives, liberties and estates, which I call by the general name, property” (Locke 47). Locke’s focus was on the purpose of government protecting those natural …show more content…

Harrington recognized that all the governments at the time would eventually become evil: “through their proneness to degenerate, to be all evil” (Harrington 50). His idea was to mix the rule of the one, few, and many altogether and pit them against each other so that they can check each other’s power so that there is balance in the government. This leads to the people being governed by reason and not by passion. These views and ideas of Harrington are strongly prevalent in the Constitution. For example, the separation of powers of executive, judicial, and legislative branches check each other’s power so that one can’t have all the influence or the balance of powers between the national government and state

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