Copyright Super Summary. Locke addresses the natural instincts of people, or the state of nature, in order to define political power.
The land a man farms and the fruits of his labor are his property. In instances when, in opposition to the laws of nature, man uses force against other men, the society at large has the right to punish them in an attempt to maintain order and to have the punishment serve as a deterrent to future transgressions.
Although investing power in legislative and executive branches of government in exchange for giving up some freedom is one structure that Locke examines, he notes that democracy is not the only acceptable form of government that men can turn to.
Locke claimed authorship of the piece in his will, having allowed it to circulate anonymously during his lifetime. In Second Treatise of Government, Locke examines the evolution of man, beginning with man in the state of nature, where the power of reason and complete natural freedom guided him through life.
When a society grows and conventions such as money come into use, a government needs to be established to protect and regulate property. He notes, however, that this liberty does not equal license to abuse others, and that natural law exists even in the state of nature. The options then are to bring new leadership to the form of government that had been in place, or develop a completely different system within which freedoms and property are still protected, but not by an oppressive all powerful hand.
Whenever people give up a portion of their freedom, there must be trust between the people and the party to which power is given. The use of absolute power, or of using power in a random manner against another, is never an acceptable course of action in the philosophy of Locke.
It is believed to have been a significant factor in shaping the ideals of both the French and American revolutions. Commentary In the Second Treatise, Locke rises above the specifics of the political situation described in the Introduction to outline a coherent theory of liberal political government, based on the sanctity of individual property and the state of nature.
According to Locke, men are born in a state of nature, with each person equal to every other and possessing the freedom to conduct their lives and protect their property. Second Treatise Of Government Summary SuperSummary, a modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, offers high-quality study guides that feature detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, quotes, and essay topics.
This period of history is known as the Glorious Revolution, and it followed years of conflict between Catholics and Protestants, the government and the people. In those times when men use force against each other, a state of war exists.
Locke finishes the chapter by noting that one must not confuse different types of power--paternal, familial, and political--for each has very different characteristics.
Full study guide for this title currently under development. His points refute Filmer as follows: Absolute Monarchies thus are guilty of causing states of war between the government and its subjects.
This he compares to being ruled by a civil governing institution, where control is ceded to legislators and executives. Locke states that natural law simply demands that punishment fit the crime--a person in the state of nature can redress any crime to discourage the offender from repeating it.
Locke turns to the topic of slavery and says that the only time it is acceptable for a man to be enslaved is in a situation where he has given up his life as a result of having exerted force against one who has then conquered him.
Their actions are guided by the innate desire to preserve mankind and they have the ability to utilize reasoning to do so.
Ending a state of war entails either the killing of the perpetrator or some sort of recompense. Each individual in the state of nature has the power to execute natural laws, which are universal.
He defines political power as the right to make laws for the protection and regulation of property; these laws are backed by the community, for the public good.SuperSummary, a modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, offers high-quality study guides that feature detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, quotes, and essay topics.
This one-page guide includes a plot summary and brief analysis of Second Treatise Of Government by John Locke, C.
B. Macpherson. When John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government [ ]. Locke’s Two Treatises of Government () is an outstanding example of literature written to justify individual rights against absolutism. This growth of abstract theory in the 17th century, this increasing tendency to construct systems and discuss politics in terms of principles, marks the emergence of the.
From a general summary to chapter summaries to explanations of famous quotes, the SparkNotes Locke's Second Treatise on Civil Government Study Guide has everything you need to ace quizzes, tests, and essays.
Second Treatise of Government study guide contains a biography of John Locke, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
In the brief preface to the Second Treatise, Locke expresses the hope that his text will justify the rule of King William, and speaks against the intellectual and moral failings of Sir Robert Filmer's writings (please see commentary).
Second Treatise John Locke Preface Preface to the two Treatises Reader, you have here the beginning and the end of a ·two-part· treatise about government. It isn’t worthwhile to go into what happened to the pages that should have come.Download