John Locke’s Two Treatises of Government and Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Social Contract

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The Enlightenment was an astonishing time of transformation in Europe. During this time in the eighteenth century there was a progressive movement that was labeled by its criticism of the normal religious, social, and political perceptions. A number of significant philosophers, with new philosophies, had inspired creativeness and change. These thinkers had many different thoughts and views on people and the way they act, and views on the government. Two well-known and most influential thinkers of this time were the English political philosopher John Locke and the French political philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau. These two men had laid down some of the intellectual grounds of the modern day government and both had different opinions …show more content…
The common legislative and executive power is focused towards peace, safety, and the public good. This government Locke describes is then based on popular consent. The legislature is the ultimate power in the state because the people are in accord with it through the social contract and put their trust in the government. The government is restricted by the very nature of the social contract, which is basically a constitution. Neither the legislature nor the king can act arbitrarily against the constitution and are required to act within the constitutional limits. The government is to be responsible to the people, and it must honor the terms of the social contract that gives them power, terms that require it to protect life, liberty and property. Also, the government is a representative government and it is the people who are to judge whether their representatives in the legislature and their executive act in agreement with their trust. Revolution is the people’s last defense if the government becomes tyrannical and violates the social contract. The people will raise this right of revolution only when the government’s defilement of its trust is clear to a majority of the people, it persists, and when all other constitutional efforts to amend complaints have been tried and failed (Porter).
Locke has been both praised and condemned as the father of liberal democracy. His followers

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