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

The development of political thought - John Locke

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Locke The development of political thought discovers the friction between the government and those questioning it. Most theorists accept the idea about the governmental sovereignty. The basic problems taking up the interest of political theory are actually the reasons why the government exists and why it is accepted by the individual. It is claimed that there are three basic values accepted by the people. The first is obedience to the Lord and divine institutions. The second is obedience to the ruler and his representatives. The third is obedience to the written laws. The relationship between the ruler and the laws is the subject of constant conflicts. In England, the great importance is attributed to the common law, developing through ages, while in France and Southern Europe the basis of judicial system is formed by the Roman law. John Locke was the person of great importance in his day and age. He was widely educated, well read, and dwell deeply into the knowledge about the political life in England and continental Europe, where he even spent some time in exile, which enables him to develop his political theory which later greatly influenced his contemporaries and future generations. ...read more.

Middle

So did the many immigrants who came to America to seek a better life. Those who are born here have implied their consent by remaining in this country and living under its laws. Every native-born American, as he or she grows up, has the choice of seeking the citizenship of another country. By remaining in this country, accepting its laws, and enjoying its benefits, they imply their consent to be governed by the federal, state, and local governments. They also affirm their consent every time they take the Pledge of Allegiance, participate in an election, or engage in other civic actions. What Locke has to say about the origin of civil society is also of interest in connection with the concept of property. It is apparent that property is very important in Locke's political theory. He says that the law of nature commands one not to harm another's possessions; and he also says that men enter into society in order to preserve more perfectly their liberty and property. Thus the right to property is protected both by the law of nature and the civil law; in fact, one of the reasons for the existence of civil society is the preservation of property. ...read more.

Conclusion

No American can ever afford to forget this basic truth. The reading of Locke's essay will never permit him to. In retrospect, his views on citizens' rights and constitutionalism are a curiously double-edged sword. One of the jobs that Locke undertook was in preparing the articles for the settlement of Virginia in North America. The articles he drafted were extremely liberal and democratic, drawing heavily on his views on rights, toleration and constitutional government. These articles were in stark contrast to the puritan absolutism of colonies farther North and also to the almost feudal oligarchy of the aristocratic landowners farther South (who became the ante-bellum slave owning gentry we see in every movie about the American Civil War). The constitution of Virginia became an extremely important influence on the framers of the Constitution of the United States and as a result Locke has had an enormous practical influence on the development of liberal and democratic thought in the modern age. Conversely his ideas about sovereignty and the rights of property were also very influential in the colonial age. Because the states that emerged from this colonial era have received much of their law and constitutional doctrine from the Law of Nations in the Age of Empires the way in which settler-indigenous were and are carried on have been shaped by Locke's thought. This is not necessarily a good thing. ...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 colonial factor in the Nigerian civil war (1967-1970)

    The northerners were apprehensive of the west minister system because despite its majority status, southerners who had already adopted this system would overshadow them. Thus, the northerners were promised that their rights would be protected. In order check this, making northern Nigeria larger than the south produced a lopsided federation.

  2. Pakistan's Political and Economic Development

    The Karachi Stock Exchange has the highest rate of return anywhere in the world currently. All of these figures would show that the military regime at the turn of the century has done much better economically as compared to the civilian governments of the 1990's.

  1. A constitution is a set of laws, customs and conventions, which together defined the ...

    People within Britain have a dismal view of Parliament. Over the last 20 years or so, that view has worsened even further. Even at its best, Parliament only has an approval rating of about 6 or 7 out of 10 and less than 1 in 20 people believe it is working well.

  2. Did the American Constitution embody the principles outlined in the Declaration of Independence?

    of majority rule in a republican structure without exposing the government to the dangers of mob rule. The delegates considered that the states of the Confederation were too democratic; in that political experience was open to all. The states body politic saw nothing wrong with interfering with the economy if it benefited the members of said body politic.

  1. In comparison to Germany's relative political stability, what variables can be identified in order ...

    The league movement disrupted the political scene even further, but this shall be discussed later. - (Modern Italy: Representation and Reform, Paul Furlong (1994), Routledge, Cardiff, pg 113) Table 2: Left-Right placement of parties in Italy Communist RC Left PDS Socialist PSI Christian CCD/CDU N.

  2. What is sovereignty?

    Due to the uncodified constitution, the rights of citizens are not safeguarded. There are Human Rights Acts but these are just acts of Parliament and can be taken away almost as easily as they were brought in. No citizen can be assured that they have rights in the state because by following the correct procedure through Parliament.

  1. The Life and Times of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah The Road to Ghana's Colonial Independence

    Also, took measures such as the abolition of interim regional assemblies, constitutional safeguards for the opposition, and the enactment of Preventive Detention Act of 1957, a law that enabled the police to arrest and detain people believed to be collaborating with the imperialist opposition.

  2. Public Law

    This process is known as 'judicial review'. However does the absence of 'judicial review' automatically mean the absence of constitutionalism? In one aspect, it can be considered a required element, for as Locke described, man made an agreement with a state when joining a commonwealth, to sacrifice his freedom in

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