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The Second Treatise on Civil Government

Author : John Locke
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As one of the early Enlightenment philosophers in England, John Locke sought to bring reason and critical intelligence to the discussion of the origins of civil society. Endeavoring to reconstruct the nature and purpose of government, a social contract theory is proposed. The Second Treatise sets forth a detailed discussion of how civil society came to be and the nature of its inception. Locke's discussion of tacit consent, separation of powers, and the right of citizens to revolt against repressive governments, has made The Second Treatise one of the most influential essays in the history of political philosophy.

Second Treatise of Government

Author : John Locke
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Reader, thou hast here the beginning and end of a discourse concerning government; what fate has otherwise disposed of the papers that should have filled up the middle, and were more than all the rest, it is not worth while to tell thee. These, which remain, I hope are sufficient to establish the throne of our great restorer, our present King William; to make good his title, in the consent of the people, which being the only one of all lawful governments, he has more fully and clearly, than any prince in Christendom; and to justify to the world the people of England, whose love of their just and natural rights, with their resolution to preserve them, saved the nation when it was on the very brink of slavery and ruin. If these papers have that evidence, I flatter myself is to be found in them, there will be no great miss of those which are lost, and my reader may be satisfied without them: for I imagine, I shall have neither the time, nor inclination to repeat my pains, and fill up the wanting part of my answer, by tracing Sir Robert again, through all the windings and obscurities, which are to be met with in the several branches of his wonderful system.

Two Treatises of Government

Author : John Locke
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Designed to serve the needs of students confronting Locke's political thought for the first time, Lee Ward's edition offers a faithful text of Two Treatises of Government with modernized spelling and punctuation. Its Editor's Introduction outlines the main arguments of these works, illustrates the conceptual thread uniting the less frequently read First Treatise with the far more famous Second Treatise, and locates Locke's work amid the turbulent constitutional battles of 1690s England. Helpful notes at the foot of the page, a Thematic Index, and an up-to-date Bibliography are also provided.

The First Second Treatises of Government

Author : John Locke
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Locke's two groundbreaking treatises regarding good governance are present here in this complete edition. At the time these treatises were written, English politics had undergone decades of upheaval in the wake of the English Civil War. When Dutch monarch William of Orange ascended to the English throne in the Glorious Revolution of 1688, burning questions over the best form of governance for England were prominent in the intelligentsia of the era. It was a time when England grappled with its incremental transition from monarchy to early forms of democracy and right to vote, where dynastic monarchy and religious theory still held considerable power over the formation of the state. In the first treatise Locke proceeds to attack and dissect his prominent contemporary Robert Filmer, who was broadly in favour of absolute monarchy under the principle of divine right. The allusions to the Biblical Adam, wherein the monarch can be intimated as a continuation of the first man ever created, are debunked by Locke who asserts that God never asserted that one man had province to rule over all other human beings. Supporting his argument with known history, Locke concludes that no king over the centuries had asserted to be the heir of Adam and thereby the rightful ruler of a country. In the second treatise Locke turns to a different topic - that of the state of nature. He discusses how humanity may have behaved prior to the establishment of formal societies, and concludes that humanity - even without an established government in place - had never been truly lawless even when freedom was at its farthest extent. In arguing against the tyranny of absolute monarchy, while acknowledging the advantages of humanity's freedom in its natural ungoverned state, Locke arrives at his conclusion: a democratically elected government, whereby humans are accorded freedoms but must conform to the rule of law, is the most advantageous type of government to which humans can aspire. Lauded as a classic of political philosophy, the treatises by Locke are a common requirement in various educational courses concerning political science and philosophy to this day. While steeped in the historical realities of the late 17th century, the arguments Locke composes for governance favourable to the people and their country's development were immensely influential on political theory during and after the Enlightenment era.

Second Treatise of Government

Author : John Locke
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Two Treatises of Government (or "Two Treatises of Government: In the Former, The False Principles, and Foundation of Sir Robert Filmer, and His Followers, Are Detected and Overthrown.

Second Treatise of Government by John Locke

Author : John Locke
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In the Second Treatise of Government, John Locke discusses men's move from a state of nature characterized by perfect freedom and governed by reason to a civil government in which the authority is vested in a legislative and executive power.

Two Treatises of Government

Author : John Locke
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Published after the Glorious Revolution of 1688 brought William of Orange and Mary to the throne, but written in the throes of the Whig revolutionary plots against Charles II in the early 1680s, John Locke offers a theory of natural law and natural rights which distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate civil governments, and argues for the legitimacy of revolt against tyrannical governments. These radical ideas remain influential today. In these two treatises the political philosopher John Locke espouses radical theories which influenced the ideologies of the American and French revolutions, and became the basis for the social and political philosophies of Rousseau, Voltaire and the United States founding fathers. In the first treatise Locke aims to refute the doctrine of the patriarchal and absolute right of the Divine Right of Kings doctrine put forth by Sir Robert Filmer's Patriarcha. He examines key Biblical passages to prove that scripture does not support Filmer's premise. The second treatise offers Locke's positive theory of government in which he establishes a theory which reconciles the liberty of the citizen with political order. His basic premise is founded on the independence of the individual. He declares that men are born free and equal in their rights and that wealth is the product of labor. In his revolutionary theory of the social contract he proposes that a legitimate civil government must preserve the rights to life, liberty, health and property of its citizens, and prosecute and punish those in violation of those rights. Reprint of the 1698 third edition.

Second Treatise of Government Large Print

Author : John Locke
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The "Second Treatise" is concerned with five specific themes in relation to government. Firstly Locke defines a state of nature in which people have perfect freedom in dealing with the affairs of their own person and property. Secondly he discusses conquest and slavery arguing that the conquest and enslavement of absolute monarchy is a violation of natural law. Thirdly he asserts that civil society exists to protect a fundamental right to property by which he means life, liberty, and estate. Fourthly he discusses his views on representative government which may take any form so long as it is representative in upholding the fundamental rights prescribed by natural law.

Second Treatise of Government

Author : John Locke
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This book is a work of political philosophy published anonymously in 1689 by John Locke.

Two Treatises of Government

Author : John Locke
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