John Locke's Philosophy In The Age Of Enlightenment

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The Age of Enlightenment, or otherwise known as, simply, The Enlightenment, is a period in 18th century western culture in which reason was advocated as a primary source of truth and knowledge. Born in the wake of the religious reformation, the voyages of European discovery, and the emergence to dominance of capital, the enlightenment spirit was oriented broadly to the liberation of human beings from its various forms of bondage (Kapferer 2007). As the church was becoming increasingly secularized, spawning from the Protestant Reformation, many public philosophers, known as Philosophes, adopted notions of the value of reason and used methodical processes to deduce universal truths about the world and analyze society and culture using these …show more content…
He emphasized less the right to acquire the means to an easier and secure life and more the equal right to the end, happiness (Faulkner 2008). In his statecraft, Jefferson commonly followed in the footsteps of his enlightened political predecessors in promoting reason and utility to every aspect of government formation. John Locke is a commonly referred to as a principal influence of both, The Declaration of Independence, and of Jefferson himself. Locke is best known for his elaboration on the political science of liberty, as he argued that, to be legitimate, a government required the consent of its people (Goldie 2004). Locke expressed the inherent knowledge that humans were born with certain "natural" rights, such as life, liberty and property. He felt that the choice of liberty for these human rights or a broader conception of God-given rights was a necessary innovation of modern western thought (Ahmed 2009). Locke deduced that man, by nature being free, equal, and independent, cannot be put out of this estate and subjected to the political power of another without his own consent (Shepard 2008). Moreover, Locke felt that if a government did not promote these "natural" rights of the people, the people had the inherent right to change or overthrow it. Jefferson, and countless other of the Founding Fathers, took much from Locke. Several passages from Locke's Second Treatise were directly …show more content…
As an intermediary, Charles Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu modernized the forward-thinking model of effective governing in his 1748 book "On the Spirit of laws." Founding his model mostly on European countries that he had studied, Montesquieu described a combination of three branches of power, and two houses to be the head of the government. Montesquieu detailed the need to have a juxtaposition of political jurisdiction to balance one another's authority. Such a balance of power was meant to curtail any attempts of tyranny. Montesquieu's proposals were taken in earnest by our founding fathers during the formation of the modern United States, as these principles clearly appear in Acts One, Two and Three in the U.S. Constitution, and combined, are the basic model of checks and balances in which our country is so proud.
John Locke made significant contributions to the constitution also, as well, as he reinforced the argument for the separation of powers, but also promoted the due process of law and lobbied for the overall separation of church and state. Locke's innovative creed that underlies this political-economic razor is exhibited in his First Treatise's radical criticism of both monarchy and aristocracy (Faulkner

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