Have you ever heard of the Enlightenment era in history? It was a significant period in time where people started to have new ideas in technology, science, politics, and philosophy. The Enlightenment also brought about a lot of memorable thinkers who still continue to influence us today. Among those thinkers included the very wise John Locke and Thomas Jefferson. John Locke was an excellent Enlightenment philosopher who actually influenced Thomas Jefferson’s writings for the Declaration of Independence. Their writings helped to create the unity in America, and justify the break from Great Britain. As a result, together these two famous philosophers helped our country become independent with the Declaration of Independence, which encouraged the people to fight for freedom.
In John Locke’s primary document, “The Second Treatise on Civil Government,” he describes his views on the state of nature, property, beginning of political societies, extent of the legislative power, and the dissolution of government. John Locke was a supporter of the Glorious Revolution, an English revolution against King James II, which resulted in the reign of William and Mary. According to the Second Treatise on Civil Government, Locke was inspired by the revolution as the ideas he expressed had been clearly stated in his arguments and therefore he wrote the First and Second Treatise on Civil Government. The first treatise opposed the king’s divine rights to rule with absolute power. The second treatise states that the government rests in the consent of the people and they can decide on what they want. This also includes the type of government they desire to have. Locke also states that each individual is born with certain ...
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...g these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” John Locke wrote the same thing but instead of “pursuit of happiness” he advocated for “property.”
Clearly, Thomas Jefferson and John Locke were two of the great enlightenment thinkers of their time, whose ideas and viewpoints lead to American independence from Britain. Thomas Jefferson wrote his Draft of the Declaration and was influenced by many of the ideas and concepts of John Locke. He did modify some of Locke’s ideas but most of them were the product of Locke’s belief in the Law’s of Nature and the fundamental unalienable rights of all human beings. As a result, their writings influence and demonstrate basic rights of people and make up our government. The world in which we live in is a product of the ideals of these men, who lived over 200 years ago; we are a representation of a republic government.
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