• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explain and evaluate Locke's theory of government

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Explain and evaluate Locke's theory of government During the mid and late 1600's England was in a political confusion. Kings were being assassinated, the legitimacy of the power was under threat, and there was a need for changes. One of the most enthusiastic approaches for those problems was done by John Locke. His theory of government just puts a new page into the history of political theory by establishing the liberalist views, and opening the prologue to the modern day democracy. In Locke's theory of government people are the main source of the political power and he doesn't accept the Hobbes' view about the rule of hierarchy. The whole evolution in Locke's theory of government is that he is the first political theorist to see the people as the main source of power and to give them the right to legitimize the government. The main question about this proposal is whether people can be able to dissolve the government and make a rebellion. The government is strong, and has many political and economical tools to be able to manipulate the people or even not to let them to dissolve it. ...read more.

Middle

It was allocated with the right to publish the laws, applying sanctions, and to use force of a society for observance of these laws. However, the state should not encroach on these rights, as the limit of its authority at all forms of rule is the natural rights of its citizens. The government cannot incur the right to rule by means of any despotic decrees; on the contrary, it is obliged to create justice and to define the rights of citizens by means of declaration of constant laws and representatives on that judges. Locke considered that the government itself should obey to the laws established in a society; otherwise citizens have the full right to return to their initial rights and to transfer them to a new authority, and people should be judges when the government disobeys the set rules (Locke J., Two Treatise of Government, Yale University Press, p. 207). Locke emphasizes, that the person is not born as a citizen of one or the other state. The person chooses under what authority of the government, which citizen of the state it wishes to become, 'Every man being, as has been showed, naturally free, and nothing being able to put ...read more.

Conclusion

All these powers are precisely defined and adjusted by laws, strictly supervised by parliament. Locke also acknowledges the federative, which is responsible for representing the commonwealth in foreign countries. Locke's theory of knowledge and social philosophy has rendered deep influence on history of culture and a society, in particular on development of the American constitution. He is considered as the founder of the liberalist views, and the basic theorists of a democratic state system. His ideal is English constitutional monarchy, in which there is balance of interests of the person, and the government. Locke does a great job by putting the people over the government, and making them the creators of the latter. The way in which people can disobey the rules is still a question, but their right to revolt is absolutely justified, from the author's perspective. By making the society be more important than the government in his theory, Locke actually writes one of the first amendments of the constitution stating that the Supreme power is the people and all the power belongs to it. Formation of the checks and balances through differentiating the executive and legislative power just proves how crucial it is in modern world, where every country tries to maintain the balance. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Politics essays

  1. Britain has a constitutional monarchy. The 'constitutional monarchy' is in which the monarch acknowledges ...

    It functions through various activities: the regular visits to these countries, the presence of herself in the meeting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM), offering non-ministerial message during the Commonwealth day celebration and so on5. In someway, the pomp and pageantry of the monarchy is good for tourism.

  2. Select And Explain The Most Important Turning Points In Nelson Mandela's Life

    Nelson Mandela was involved in the main resistance against apartheid, the African National Congress, or ANC for short. This large political group in South Africa was involved in many protests against apartheid since its formation in 1912. Mandela joined the Youth League of the ANC in 1944 but had doubts about his commitment to the party.

  1. Citizenship - participating in society

    We used paper, scissors. Felt tips, glue and coloured paper for the poster which was a creative task and the pupils enjoyed it very much. Section Four: Evaluation Evaluation of own contribution to the activity I feel that I contributed well to the activities that I created as well as Mohammed Abdul Jaleel and Kamran Uddin.

  2. When is government interference with an individual's freedom justified?

    to do or be it, then many would argue that this lack of opportunity or resources constitutes a relevant constraint or obstacle and that the individual is therefore not truly free to do or be that something. People who subscribe to this belief support a 'positive' theory of liberty as

  1. Does Hobbes's Sovereign or Locke's Civil Government provide better protection for the citizen?

    not wanting to believe and obey the sovereign, will do due to the fact that, the sovereign is given the identity as supreme power and Hobbes believes that it is "Gods living representative"3 The issue of self-preservation is important when discussing how well the sovereign actually protects the citizens in an effective manner.

  2. Public Law

    The Parliamentary Ombudsman also works in a similar way, investigating complaints made by an individual about the behaviour of a Government organisation or individual, again with large investigatory powers. Also, there is the principle of collective responsibility within the Government.

  1. Public Law

    The courts cannot interfere here due to parliamentary sovereignty, therefore it is left to be internally regulated by parliament 'codes of conduct'. This is the 'enrolled act rule' (which again only exists in convention), according to which a valid act is one which has the consent of both Houses of Parliament and has Royal Assent.

  2. Devolution is not a "constitutional settlement" but a dynamic (and potentially destabilising) process. ...

    of an independent Scotland."6 Comments such as this, taken from a speech shortly after the new Parliament became official, worried anti devolution campaigners. Furthermore, he optimistically stated, "I have no doubt we will achieve that aim (independence) within my own lifetime"7 The main concern was that Scotland wanted to be

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work