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Word Count: 969
Although their ideologies sometimes clashed and they came from two distinctly different epochs in the course of political development John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseaus fundamental arguments address several similar points These five main themes which significantly overlap and thus cannot be addressed separately are the state of nature the basis for the development of government the primary intent of government the state of war and the ultimate effect of the state on the individual and vice versa Despite these contradictions in belief both men proved to be greatly influential in the course of the United States democratic development In both Lockes and Rousseaus state of nature the only agreement they have is that men are born free and equal with no higher authority with the exception of divine power Locke adamantly believed that in nature anarchy and a strong sense of insecurity among the people was prevalent Rousseau on the other hand believed that people are unable to live life to its fullest in the chaotic state of nature and no rights are inherent For Locke nature was an ideal a utopia of sorts the ultimate goal while for Rousseau it was an unnatural and tumultuous ordeal that could neither prevail in theory or practice If the aforementioned ultimate goal were ever achieved though it would not last because it would degenerate into a state of war Locke and Rousseaus foremost point of agreement is that the people must demonstrate consent in order for a successful government to begin to evolve Locke maintained that this permission was generally tacit implied solely by remaining a member of the civil society or living under a governments rules Ultimately the first formation of government is by the consent of all Rousseau states that consent must be explicit to form a community at first also presuming that since the lives of people are unable to live their lives to the fullest potential in nature that forming a
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