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Locke Essay Research Paper A THE HEREDITARY

Locke Essay, Research Paper A. THE HEREDITARY PRINCIPLE · Locke wrote two important treatises, the first of which is a criticism of the doctrine of hereditary power. Sir Robert Filmer wrote Patriarcha or the The Natural Power of Kings published in 1680 in defense of the divine right of kings.

Locke Essay, Research Paper

A. THE HEREDITARY PRINCIPLE

· Locke wrote two important treatises, the first of which is a criticism of the doctrine of hereditary power. Sir Robert Filmer wrote Patriarcha or the The Natural Power of Kings published in 1680 in defense of the divine right of kings.

· According to Filmer, only the king makes laws, the king is free of all human control, does not have to pay attention to the laws created by his predecessors, and does not have to follow his own laws. The Lords of England only were supposed to give advice.

· The Patriacha began by opposing the opinion that “mankind is naturally endowed and born with freedom from all subjection and at liberty to choose what form of government it pleases. This is exactly opposite our constitution.

· Divine right of kings came from the idea that God bestowed the kinly power upon Adam, from whom it descended to his heirs, and ultimately reached the various monarchs of modern times.

· The church tended to believe in limits of kings. There was a battle between kings with their armies and the Church which depended on cleverness and sanctity (holiness) to reduce the power of kings.

· Filmer said that kings derived political power, not from any contract but entirely from the authority of a father over his children.

· The defeat of the theories of divine right in England was due to two main causes. One was the multiplicities of religion. [In England the Church of England believed in bishops, in Scotland the Calvinists did NOT believe in bishops. The King of England was stuck trying to believe in both, which was impossible.] The second was conflict of power among the monarchy [king], the aristocracy [princes and dukes] and the higher bourgeoisie [wealthy people, mostly wealthy business owners].

· The three parties made different combinations at different times, so the king was weak when the other two groups were against him.

· Locke had no difficulty demolishing Filmer’s theory. If parental power was important then a mother’s power was just as important as a father’s so kings and queens should be equal. Also, if we pretend that Adam was a king, then only one offspring should be king and all the others were fakes. Also, parents only have power over their children for a short time, not all their lives.

· Although the heredity principle is gone from politics, it is present in economics. People still leave their money to their children.

B. THE STATE OF NATURE AND THE NATURAL LAW

· This was the part of the second treatise of Locke. He restated some old ideas from other people like Thomas Aquinas.

· He supposed that there was a “state of nature” and a “law of nature” that leads people to action.

· Locke believed in a “happy” state of nature which came from his interpretation of the Bible and the age of the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob).

· Locke believed that the state of nature was as follows: “Men living together according to reason, without a common superior on earth, with authority to judge between them, is properly the state of nature.”

· He also believed that no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions. However, not everyone followed the state of nature and each person had his own interpretation of the state of nature.

· In order to protect against those who did not follow the law of nature, civil government was formed as a social contract. “The great and chief end of men uniting into commonwealths, and putting themselves under government, is the preservation of their property: to which in the state of nature there are many things wanting.”

C. THE SOCIAL CONTRACT

· In the seventeeth century there were two ideas about government. The first was the divine right of kings. Aristocracy had mixed feelings because it kept the king in power but kept the merchants out of power, which was good.

· Locke gave the second type of government-the social contract. It was an affair completely of the world, not something from God.

· Political power resulted and this power rested with the government. According to Locke, “Political power I take to be the right of making laws, with the penalty of death, and consequently al less penalties for the regulating and preserving of property, and of employing the force of the community in the execution of such laws, and in the defense of the commonwealth from foreign injury, and all this only for the public good.

· Because the king could be both the judge and at the same time be accusing someone of something against him, it became apparent that judges and executive (presidents) needed to be separate.

· The power of government by contract never extends beyond the common good [although it is not clear who is supposed to judge what is in the common good.]

D. PROPERTY

· Each man was supposed to own private property for his own labor, for example, farming or producing something.

· Locke also believed that the value of something should be related to how much work it took to do it. This was the labor theory of value.

· The difficulty with Locke’s ideas is that only really worked in England before the industrial revolution. After that, if a person, for example, worked in a car factory and produced just one part of the car all day long, there was no way to determine how much value they had added.

E. CHECKS AND BALANCES

· The doctrine that the legislative, executive and judicial functions of government should be kept separate is characteristic of liberalism and is consistent with what Locke said.

· In all well designed governments, Locke says, the legislative and executive are separate.

· Locke said nothing about the judiciary. However, the supreme court of the US is the best example of an independent judiciary.

· The country where Locke’s principle of the division of pweres has found its fullest application is the United States, where the President and Congress are wholly independent of each other, and the Supreme Court is independent of both.

· Locke’s political philosophy was adequate and useful until the industrial revolution.

· The state of nature that Locke talked about still exists but now between countries instead of people[, because people formed countries using a "social contract"].

· A new international Social Contract is necessary before we can enjoy the promised benefits of government. When one international government has been created much of Locke’s political philosophy will again become applicable [like no harm to one another.]

A. THE HEREDITARY PRINCIPLE

· Locke wrote two important treatises, the first of which is a criticism of the doctrine of hereditary power. Sir Robert Filmer wrote Patriarcha or the The Natural Power of Kings published in 1680 in defense of the divine right of kings.

· According to Filmer, only the king makes laws, the king is free of all human control, does not have to pay attention to the laws created by his predecessors, and does not have to follow his own laws. The Lords of England only were supposed to give advice.

· The Patriacha began by opposing the opinion that “mankind is naturally endowed and born with freedom from all subjection and at liberty to choose what form of government it pleases. This is exactly opposite our constitution.

· Divine right of kings came from the idea that God bestowed the kinly power upon Adam, from whom it descended to his heirs, and ultimately reached the various monarchs of modern times.

· The church tended to believe in limits of kings. There was a battle between kings with their armies and the Church which depended on cleverness and sanctity (holiness) to reduce the power of kings.

· Filmer said that kings derived political power, not from any contract but entirely from the authority of a father over his children.

· The defeat of the theories of divine right in England was due to two main causes. One was the multiplicities of religion. [In England the Church of England believed in bishops, in Scotland the Calvinists did NOT believe in bishops. The King of England was stuck trying to believe in both, which was impossible.] The second was conflict of power among the monarchy [king], the aristocracy [princes and dukes] and the higher bourgeoisie [wealthy people, mostly wealthy business owners].

· The three parties made different combinations at different times, so the king was weak when the other two groups were against him.

· Locke had no difficulty demolishing Filmer’s theory. If parental power was important then a mother’s power was just as important as a father’s so kings and queens should be equal. Also, if we pretend that Adam was a king, then only one offspring should be king and all the others were fakes. Also, parents only have power over their children for a short time, not all their lives.

· Although the heredity principle is gone from politics, it is present in economics. People still leave their money to their children.

B. THE STATE OF NATURE AND THE NATURAL LAW

· This was the part of the second treatise of Locke. He restated some old ideas from other people like Thomas Aquinas.

· He supposed that there was a “state of nature” and a “law of nature” that leads people to action.

· Locke believed in a “happy” state of nature which came from his interpretation of the Bible and the age of the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob).

· Locke believed that the state of nature was as follows: “Men living together according to reason, without a common superior on earth, with authority to judge between them, is properly the state of nature.”

· He also believed that no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions. However, not everyone followed the state of nature and each person had his own interpretation of the state of nature.

· In order to protect against those who did not follow the law of nature, civil government was formed as a social contract. “The great and chief end of men uniting into commonwealths, and putting themselves under government, is the preservation of their property: to which in the state of nature there are many things wanting.”

C. THE SOCIAL CONTRACT

· In the seventeeth century there were two ideas about government. The first was the divine right of kings. Aristocracy had mixed feelings because it kept the king in power but kept the merchants out of power, which was good.

· Locke gave the second type of government-the social contract. It was an affair completely of the world, not something from God.

· Political power resulted and this power rested with the government. According to Locke, “Political power I take to be the right of making laws, with the penalty of death, and consequently al less penalties for the regulating and preserving of property, and of employing the force of the community in the execution of such laws, and in the defense of the commonwealth from foreign injury, and all this only for the public good.

· Because the king could be both the judge and at the same time be accusing someone of something against him, it became apparent that judges and executive (presidents) needed to be separate.

· The power of government by contract never extends beyond the common good [although it is not clear who is supposed to judge what is in the common good.]

D. PROPERTY

· Each man was supposed to own private property for his own labor, for example, farming or producing something.

· Locke also believed that the value of something should be related to how much work it took to do it. This was the labor theory of value.

· The difficulty with Locke’s ideas is that only really worked in England before the industrial revolution. After that, if a person, for example, worked in a car factory and produced just one part of the car all day long, there was no way to determine how much value they had added.

E. CHECKS AND BALANCES

· The doctrine that the legislative, executive and judicial functions of government should be kept separate is characteristic of liberalism and is consistent with what Locke said.

· In all well designed governments, Locke says, the legislative and executive are separate.

· Locke said nothing about the judiciary. However, the supreme court of the US is the best example of an independent judiciary.

· The country where Locke’s principle of the division of pweres has found its fullest application is the United States, where the President and Congress are wholly independent of each other, and the Supreme Court is independent of both.

· Locke’s political philosophy was adequate and useful until the industrial revolution.

· The state of nature that Locke talked about still exists but now between countries instead of people[, because people formed countries using a "social contract"].

· A new international Social Contract is necessary before we can enjoy the promised benefits of government. When one international government has been created much of Locke’s political philosophy will again become applicable [like no harm to one another.]

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