Locke Essay, Research Paper
In the Second Treatise of Government, Locke explains different ways in which human beings can live together. He suggests there are two ways and he describes them as “the state of nature” and “civil (or political) society.” “Civil Society” can exist in many forms although there is only one “state of nature.” The determination of the best form of government is dependent on the recognition of these two types of societies. This is crucial for a nation and young America, whose political society is based largely upon John Locke’s arguments.
The “state of nature,” as described by Locke, is a society in which each man governs himself and there is no existence of government. Although this type of society may be the ideal situation if successful, Locke argues the obvious; government is necessary. However, the discussion of the utopian “state of nature” emphasizes an important point; “all men, by nature, are equal,” despite physical and mental differences. This argument goes to the very heart of humanity and therefore exists in all societies, including both the “state of nature” and the absolute monarchy. Thomas Jefferson later composed the Declaration of Independence. Based entirely on this theory of natural (political) equality, Jefferson’s work became one of America’s most important and influential works.
Locke’s argument against the monarchy is based on the natural equality that he attributes to every. Although the “civil society” can include all forms of governmental structures, Locke is clearly in favor of that which is closest in likelihood to the “state of nature.” Recognizing that government is necessary, he wants to give the most liberty possible to the people. For this reason, America has the type of government that it does. It is interesting that many of the documents crucial to the founding of the United States, including the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution implement Locke’s ideas as well as his terminology.