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Political Theories of Locke and Hobbes John Locke influenced Western political thought immensely He lived during the age of political upheaval the Glorious Revolution During this time the Tories and the Whigs Englands first two political parties joined together to rid their country of the tyrannical James II and welcomed as their new co-rulers his daughter Mary and her Dutch husband William Locke witnessed these events from the Netherlands where he had fled in 1683 because he foresaw the accession of the absolutist and Catholic-leaning James II These events greatly influenced his political theories Throughout his writings Locke argued that people had the gift of reason Locke thought they had the natural ability to govern themselves and to look after the well being of society He wrote The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it which treats everyone equally Reason which is that law teaches all mankindthat being all equal and independent no one ought to harm another in his life health or possessions Locke did not believe that God had chosen a group or family of people to rule countries He rejected the Divine Right which many kings and queens used to justify their right to rule Instead he argued that governments should only operate with the consent of the people they are governing In this way Locke supported democracy as a form of government Locke wrote We have learned from history we have reason to conclude that all peaceful beginnings of government have been laid in consent of the people Governments were formed according to Locke to protect the right to life the right to freedom and the right to property Their rights were absolute belonging to all the people Locke also believed that government power should be divided equally into three branches of government so that politicians will not face the temptation to grasp at absolute power If any government abused these rights instead of protecting them
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