What Is John Locke's Response To The Declaration Of Independence

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In some ways, reading the American Declaration of Independence can feel like a “John Locke’s Greatest Hits” essay, with many of it’s key points directly borrowed from the Second Treatise of Government. It might even have been appropriate for Thomas Jefferson to have included a Works Cited or Bibliography page, given how much of the Declaration is the accumulation of the works of the era’s foremost philosophers and thinkers. The Declaration of Independence premises itself on the notions of the legitimacy of governments and the consent of the governed, both of which are central tenants of the political philosophy of John Locke.
The parallels between the Declaration and the works of John Locke can best be seen in this statement from paragraph two:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, 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.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government …show more content…

Line-by-line, the connections can be seen by drawing comparisons to the text of the Second Treatise of Government. Starting with “all men are created equal,” Locke makes direct reference to his belief in the fundamental equality of all men in phrases such as, “obvious that creatures of the same species and status, all born to all the same advantages of nature and to the use of the same abilities, should also be equal in other ways, with no-one being subjected to or subordinate to anyone else” (Locke 8). This equality of people creates a “relation of equality between ourselves and those who are like us” (Locke 9), such as our fellow citizens. Each citizen thus has the same political power, despite differences in property and

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