The Contributions of Nicolo Machiavelli and John Locke to Political Thought

1755 Words8 Pages
The Contributions of Nicolo Machiavelli and John Locke to Political Thought In political thought, there have been many people that have progressed political theory. Nicolo Machiavelli and John Locke are two of those famous individuals. The research here will be focused on them. Each Machiavelli and John Locke support a different political theory. At first, the background and relevant contexts will be discussed. Each person has written something that has influenced modern political thought. Nicolo Machiavelli’s The Prince and John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government. Liberalism contained in Locke’s work will be explored in addition to the realism contained in The Prince. These two writings were chosen because they are opposite of each other. Locke’s Second Treatise of Government helped influence and set the foundations for liberalism, and Machiavelli’s The Prince did the same for classical realism. Kenneth Waltz and Neo-realism will be the framework in which the two documents will be analyzed. The objectives are to analyze the authors’ contributions to political theory: liberalism and realism. The connections to modern political theory and Neo-realism will be discussed. John Locke’s work can almost be seen as a response to Machiavelli’s Prince and previously established political thought. Machiavelli came before John Locke, missing John Locke by almost 125 years. Neo-realism begun only in the past thirty years, it was developed by Waltz in a book titled The Theory on International Politics. Kenneth Waltz was born in 1924, died in 2013 (Art, 2013). Waltz a pioneer in field of international politics, and also a political scientist. Waltz believed that classical realism needed progression. He fe... ... middle of paper ... ...t Neo-Realism draws more from Machiavellian ideals, considering that the writings of Locke were written in critical response to the autocratic rule suffered by many at the time. Both Locke and Machiavelli were two pioneers of political thought, and their influence can still be noted in modern political theory. Bibliography Art, R. (2013). Kenneth Waltz and His Legacy. Foreign Affairs . Caponi, N. (2010). An Unlikely Prince: The Life and Times of Machiavelli. Da Capo Press. Hurley, P. (2006). Does Consequentialism Make Too Many Demands? Ethics . Locke, J. (1690). The Second Treatise of Civil Government. Machiavelli, N. (1532). The Prince. Milton, J. (2008). John Locke. In Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Thayer, W. (1892). Machiavelli's Prince. International Journal of Ethics , 476-492. Waltz, K. (1979). Theory of International Politics.
Open Document