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The seventeenth century was a difficult time in England Intense intellectual ferment surged out of the Enlightenment a turning point in history that ushered in the contemporary age Ripple effects from previous bloody religious reforms threatened further persecution fanaticism and death between Protestants Catholics and Puritans After the reigns of absolute monarchs James II and Charles I the public broke out in civil war and overthrew the monarchy However an inexperienced republic would not last and soon Charles II was invited to take the throne restoring the monarchy Even family life was disrupted Husbands and sons rode off into battle where they were usually killed Only mothers and children were left to defend their own homes A cascade of condemnation erupted from the public forced to live a life of fear By far the most revolutionary critiques came from the pen of an enlightened philosopher During the seventeenth century John Locke had the greatest influence on the formation of liberalism human rights and democratic government all of which still exist today John Locke was born August 29 1632 in Wrington Somerset England His mother died during his infancy so his father an attorney raised him Locke was tutored at home because of the outbreak of civil war in 1642 Beginning at the age of 14 he attended Westminster School for six years Then he was admitted to Christ Church Oxford In 1658 he was elected a senior student at the college where he was taught Greek and moral philosophy After a few years he switched into the faculty of medicine Eventually in 1668 he became a member of the Royal Society an independent scientific academy of Great Britain dedicated to promoting excellence in science Honderich 493 Locke had many prominent friends who were nobles in government In 1672 the first Earl of Shaftesbury Anthony Ashley Cooper became the lord chancellor of England and promoted Locke into a powerful political position as his secretary and advisor
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