Thursday, September 17, 2009

Was the works of John Locke's read prior to the making of The Declaration of Independence?

In July 4, 1776, The Untied States of American declared their independence. No longer were the Americans willing to take the burden of the English. No longer were they willing to accept a society without laws, and securities. A society that was run like labs rats, and the King of England was the evil-scientist that tortured his rats. The Declaration of Independence was a document that was written to demand for independence from England. This independence would run parallel to what John Locke had said in Second Treatise of Civil Government, that man joins a society for "preservation of their lives, liberties, and estates," and when these demands aren't fulfilled, a rational man would fix it or would simply leave. In Second Treatise of Civil Government, man joins a commonwealth or government because the idea of total freedom brings about fear, this is because with total freedom their is no true sense of security. In that respect, an example would be what the King of England did, "He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people." The King of England methods would seem to only benefit himself, but yet in society government is made by the people for the people, to benefit the people. When the government doesn't benefit the people, the people have the right to abolish the government. Locke made it a point in his writing that all people are created equal and that it was the commonwealth or government's job to protect its citizens, provide liberties and to protect the property , and this was later seen in the Deceleration of Independence "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." This shows how influential John Locke writings were, that it was latter seen in the Deceleration of Independence.

For a commonwealth or government to be successful, it needs 3 essential things. One is that the government needs standards, standards would be its laws. The laws have to be objective, simple. The next essential aspect would be the judge. The commonwealth has set the standard, now an interpreter is needed for the application of this said standard. A indifferent judge is needed, one that isn't fueled by revenge, or passion, but is guided by the law book. With the interpreter, society needs a way to enforce these laws. This is the basic framework for John Locke, this framework was used to accuse to King of England for his various crimes. For instance, the Judges couldn't be indifferent or objective because there decisions would be based on the will of the king. He had forbidden his Governors to pass laws, which is essential because that is what defines what is right and wrong in a society. He had denied laws that were needed for public good. The King of England took the right away to punish, for it was in his interest to protect his soldiers and not his citizens. For all the wrong that was committed by the King of England, he neither protected his people nor had he ensured their happiness. The King of England had set up a society with no basic foundation, with no respect for his people but for his wallet. If none of the essential things are available in the current government, it is the job of the inhabitants to abolish and to make a better government.

For the Declaration of Independence to be written in the fashion that it was, it was influenced by the the framework that John Locke had made. John Locke had made a system that was a basic foundation for the American government to base off of. The Declaration was written in a way that it had compared the King of England's government to the true from of government, that of John Locke.

1 comment:

  1. Good job on this. You supported your arguments from the text. You understand that Jefferson got his ideas from the ideas of Locke. I did not see any ideas about whether or not Jefferson had actually read Locke or just got the ideas second hand.