John Locke Essay

Submitted By xsamoh26
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John Locke
John Locke can be considered one of the most influential philosophers that came out of the seventeenth century. Locke was born to Puritan parents, with his father being a county lawyer and served as apart of the cavalry company in the early civil war. (Uzgalis,) His father being a lawyer allowed Locke to receive an education at the Westminster School. At the age of twenty Locke went on to attend the Christ Church in Oxford. Here he was able to receive a bachelor’s degree in logic, metaphysics and classical languages. (Uzgalis,) Following his Bachelors degree he went on to study medicine and obtain a Master’s degree. His knowledge in medicine is what led him to meet Anthony Ashley Cooper. Cooper helped Locke by teaching and informing him about the government and its policies. Soon after, Locke began to write about economics, and became politically biased on the society’s absolute government. During this time period, James II fled the country due to William of Orange’s and his army that had been invited to take the crown of England. (Uzgalis,) With James II fleeing, William and Princess Mary were left to have control over England. William and Mary had offered Locke a position as an Ambassador but Locke refused it. However, John later accepted a spot on The Board of Trade and Plantations. Eight years after he accepted the position, Locke died in 1704 leaving behind many memorable works including “The Second Treatise of Government and A Letter Concerning Toleration”
John Locke’s literary works were written during the late seventeenth century, or also a time known as the Glorious Revolution. During the Glorious Revolution, the throne was being taken over by William of Orange and Princess Mary. At this time, there was a shift with political power. The king no longer controlled the power of the kingdom, but instead it belonged to Parliament. Locke’s works were greatly influenced with this disgust towards Absolutism and that some may even say that they even poke fun at Kings Divine Right. The Divine Right or Absolutism is known to be that a king is in charge because God had said so. This created many issues, including that most of the kings would become power hungry, and would not have to answer to anyone except for God himself. John Locke was against this theory of the Divine Right, and writes about many ideas that have the qualities of a constitutional monarchy. One of his popular books with these concepts is “ The Second Treatise of Government and A Letter Concerning Toleration”. His book greatly influenced the French revolution and Thomas Jefferson while drawing up ideas for the constitution.
In “The Second Treatise of Government and A Letter Concerning Toleration”, Locke speaks about many points that were common issues within the government during the late seventeenth century. The book depicts his ideal government that has qualities of a constitutional monarchy. He discusses many points within his novel but many of the points can relate back to Thomas Jefferson and his drawing of the constitution. Some of these points include the State of Nature, Paternal Powers and powers within the government. Locke begins his book with discussing the State of Nature. State of Nature is “ A state also of equality, wherein all the power and jurisdiction is reciprocal, no one having more than another”. (Locke 2) He makes the argument that everyone is created equal, and that no one is above the law and has more power than another. His perspective is different from what was currently going on in society, where the kings did not have to answer to the law, and were above it. Even though the State of Nature was to create all man as equal, there are still loopholes into ways that men can be superior to others in ways of punishment. He believes that if one person is allowed to punish someone, then…