Grievances In The Declaration Of Independence

1019 Words5 Pages
Aristotle, Hobbes, and Locke all had their own personal prospects on why the government is formed and it 's purpose for the people. The Declaration of Independence is a list of grievances from the colonies, aimed at the current king of Britain, stating to the world their reasons for separation. This list of grievances is almost a checklist of ways the British king had neglected the main principles of government; no matter who 's philosophical theory you look at; Aristotle, Hobbes, or Locke. In other words, regardless of who Jefferson was mostly influenced by when writing the declaration, it could be proven that the British monarch didn 't follow through on any of the criteria a government is meant to provide. Therefore, the colonies dissolving…show more content…
Jefferson’s language in the Declaration of Independence shows clear influence from Locke and his theory of Life, Liberty, and Property. Locke’s idea of government is one that sets out to protect these rights and once a government becomes more destructive than useful it is the right of the people to dissolve the government and start over from scratch. It can be seen that Jefferson’s view of government, through his criticisms toward the British Parliament, are in direct alignment with Locke’s. Even though Locke was the most influential with his ideas, both Aristotle and Hobbes’ opinions contributed to Jefferson 's ideals in the declaration; and how the British government neglected those ideals. Aristotle believed the state is formed to reach something the individuals cannot reach alone, “all communities aim at some good, the state or political community, which is the highest of all, and which embraces all the rest, aims at good in a greater degree than any other, and at the highest good” (Aristotle, 7) known as the good…show more content…
Locke believed it was the government 's job to protect property because even though life was free, “enjoyment of it was very uncertain and constantly exposed to the invasion of others.” (Locke 61) There was uncertainty because not everyone wanted to follow the natural laws which made life unsafe and unpredictable. Life, liberties and property were at stake and if moral laws could not be followed a government would be formed to maintain that. “Willing to join in society with others, who are already united, or have a mind to unite, for the mutual preservation of their lives, liberties, and estates, which I call by the general name, property.” (Locke, 61) Jefferson shares these same viewpoints and focuses on how the British king is ignoring and falling short of these expectations. Jefferson believed the people had the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and when the government fails to secure these rights he thought it was the people’s rights to abolish the government and create a new one. Not only did Jefferson think it was in the people’s rights rather, “ is their duty, to throw off such government.” Declaration of Independence, 90). The British government failed to maintain the moral laws Locke thought the government should protect and in turn this was ultimately the reason Jefferson thought it was the people’s duties to separate from Great

More about Grievances In The Declaration Of Independence

Open Document