Analysis Of John Locke: The Second Treatise Of Government

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John Locke is considered one of the best political minds of his time. The modern conception of western democracy and government can be attributed to his writing the Second Treatise of Government. John Locke championed many political notions that both liberals and conservatives hold close to their ideologies. He argues that political power should not be concentrated to one specific branch, and that there should be multiple branches in government. In addition to, the need for the government to run by the majority of the population through choosing leaders, at a time where the popular thing was to be under the rule of a monarch. But despite all of his political idea, one thing was extremely evident in his writing. This was that he preferred limited…show more content…
Lockes and Hobbes ideas of government differed greatly, Hobbes believed in an absolute government while Locke believed in a very limited one.Locke believed that people were naturally good and trustful and that they had the capacity to govern themselves. So the need of the government only came in the form of stopping any potential disputes that would occur. While Hobbes believed that humans were not all that good and their need for government stemmed from the fact that people cannot govern themselves. Furthermore Locke believed that the governments role was to listen to the people it was governing, a rule by consent. While Hobbes believed that the Government was to rule on it’s own and owed no answers or consent by the people. Moreover Locke believed that the purpose of the government was to protect the property and freedom of its people, while Hobbes believed that the governments role was to tell them what to do. But arguably the biggest difference between the philosophies is the notion of government accountability. Hobbes believed that the government had free reign to do what they please with no backlash, while Locke believed that if the social contract was broken then the people of the community had the right to revolt and over throw the government. To further this point Locke unlike Hobbes believed that leaders should…show more content…
In an absolute government, the people are not in a position to question the government on their decisions. Moreover the corruption in those governments can run a muck if not checked. In order to circumvent this Locke suggests creating separate powers to both pass and enforce the law. Locke was one of the first political philosophers to separate powers of the government, which was in direct difference from the absolute monarchies he was living under. According to John Locke the government should consist of a legislative branch and an executive branch (Locke 1681, 335-37). The former makes the laws while the later enforces it. He further gives prerogative power to the executive branch to make decisions must be made by the executive branch can be made by their own discretion as long as it is of the public good ((Locke 1681, 244). The separating the powers is effective because it allows for a type of checks and balances. It means that the ones passing the laws are not fully exempt from being punished by them if the need arises. Secondly because of the prerogative power of the executive branch, it theoretically can allow for the executive branch to step in and prevent any unjust laws from passing, if they choose not to enforce it. The downside of this is depended on the number of people in the community. If the community is too big, then it might be harder to
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