• 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. "The Unknown Citizen": Auden's Satire of the State"

    This state owns the Press, Public Opinion, and even has a Eugenist department, thus emphasizing the control and power of the government. In line 26 the speaker says, "Which our Eugenist says was the right number for a parent of his generation".

  2. Rousseau and Locke.

    For Hobbes, the social contract was an agreement between a society and its government. For Rousseau, it was an agreement among free individual to create a society and a government.

  1. Citizenship - participating in society

    Laptop: We used a laptop to show them the PowerPoint presentation which I created. We used paper, scissors felt-tips, glue and coloured paper which the pupils in year 7 used to create a poster. We also used word searches for a starter.

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

    The sovereign therefore has the ability to make all the decisions and laws which it thinks necessary and at the same time, it can call upon the deputies wisdom to help in the decision making of what laws to implement and what not to.

  1. The development of political thought - John Locke

    read in the American Declaration of Independence: We hold these truths to be self-evident....That, to secure these [natural] rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed... Locke stands behind the idea that there should exist the religious tolerance as long as the

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

    It involves "the non-restriction of options": Benn and Weinstein, 1971. There has been much debate about whether being free to do something without being able to do it constitutes a true freedom. If an individual is free by law to do or be something, but lacks the opportunity or resources

  1. Critically evaluate the case the Yeltsin administration made for the use of force in ...

    The case put forward questioned Dudayev and the Chechen government's position and reasons for independence, claiming this was 'fundamentally a civil war within Chechnya, and not one of an ethnic group seeking to govern itself' (Shulman, p114). Through this argument Russia could claim to be restoring freedom to Chechnya, giving

  2. Asian Values in Singaporean Perspective.

    but, at least in the eyes of Lee Kuan Yew, the patterns of social relationships in China were not conducive to a corruption free environment unless the government tightly controlled the system. This would, of course, exclude the possibility of a democracy as the kind of restrictions that Lee saw necessary could not be implemented in a liberal democratic system.

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