John Locke and the American Political System

Topics: United States Declaration of Independence, United States, Thomas Jefferson Pages: 1 (265 words) Published: February 24, 2011
John Locke and his ideas about philosophy was a major influence on the American political system, not to mention many other political systems, too. His ideas were very universal, especially those regarding rights and freedom, two topics for which the United States of America is best known. Locke claimed that “there is a law of nature governing human beings and that it is knowable by human reason.” This law of nature is the basis of American politics, one by which we all live by today. This law included the idea that all human beings are equal, “possessing the same natural rights of life, liberty, and property...” and that all human beings have the “same obligation not to infringe on the rights of other.” Most of laws and justifications Americans live by today are based on exactly these arguments. John Locke’s statements about this law of nature for all human beings justified many revolutions, including the American revolution of 1776. Because this revolution had such a great impact on American political system, it is clear just how significant Locke’s beliefs were, and still are. His ideas were even clearly put in the American Declaration of Independence. In Jefferson’s words, the Declaration of Independence states: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness...” Today, the American people may not recognize it at all, but they do all live by the laws revealed by John Locke.
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