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John Locke and His Influence on the American Revolution - Essay Example

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John Locke and His Influence on the American Revolution John Locke was never a major participant to the American Revolution but his ideas figured prominently in the struggle for independence from British colonialism. Such revolutionary ideas, however, are not just borne out of impetuous response to the oppression of humans by fellow humans…
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John Locke and His Influence on the American Revolution
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"John Locke and His Influence on the American Revolution"

Download file to see previous pages At the core of his ideology is the principle that people are, by nature, equal. There is no one who is above others in terms of economic, political, and cultural power. Because of this, no one also has the right to harm other people. In Two Treatises on Government, he wrote that people a natural state “do not have to ask permission to act or depend on the will of others to arrange matters on their behalf” (Locke 70). Apparently, such theory introduces concept that challenges the validity or the relevance of the government and laws. In line with his concept of individual freedoms in relation to the laws and the government, Locke also has a critical view on taxes imposed on the people. For him, taxes are similar to stealing a portion of the fruits of one’s labor. However, despite his expositions that greatly diminished the relevance of the state’s existence, Locke never went to the extent of calling for its abolition. Nevertheless, his ideas inspired other thinkers of his time and after to develop the concept of modern democracy. Among these is the concept that democracy’s core is the will of the people. ...
These were reformist in essence. These aimed to appeal to the rulers’ conscience in the hope that they mend their ways of governing. Locke, however, was not a reformist in his views. He went to criticize the roots of oppression and tyranny, the doctrine of divine right of kings. For him, it is not the king or the ruler as a person that is the problem but the principles that upholds, defends, and promotes his existence in human society. What makes this political principle radical is that it strikes at the roots of the problem of oppression which is the concept that monarchs are chosen by God and that, therefore, their authority cannot be questioned. Locke, of course, did not directly confront the English throne himself. However, by presenting his radical views to the public through his written works, particularly Two Treatises on Government, he laid the foundation of the belief that the struggles against oppressive social structures are not only justified but also legitimate under the laws of nature. Locke’s ideas were definitely revolutionary when these are appreciated in the historical context of his time. When he questioned the validity and the legitimacy of the rule of kings and other monarchs, a great majority of the world’s nations were ruled by royal families and absolutist regimes. These basically violate the essence of the individual freedom that Locke advocated. His concept that essentially calls for the downfall of such rulers is undoubtedly revolutionary. However, it must be pointed out that the “Lockean notion of revolution is certainly a form of mass political participation, but it is an activity that derives its moral authority from an irreducibly ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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