Jefferson vs Locke Presentation

by Shannon McNally

Comparisons Part 1

John Locke's Treatise of Civil Government:

"...we must consider, what state all men are naturally in, and that is, a state of perfect freedom to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions and persons, as they think fit, within the bounds of the law of nature, without asking leave, or depending upon the will of any other man."

Declaration of Independence:

"...that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights..."

No person is better than one another and have rights that are a part of their very nature which no one can take away.

John Locke's Treatise of Civil Government:

"...by which means they come again to be out of subjection, and may constitute to themselves a new legislative, as they think best, being in full liberty to resist the force of those, who without authority would impose any thing upon them."

Declaration of Independence:

"...under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

If a government is abusing it's power over the people, they can rebel against it and create a new and better government in its place.

Comparisons Part 2

John Locke's Treatise of Civil Government:

"Thirdly, When, by the arbitrary power of the prince, the electors, or ways of election, are altered, without the consent, and contrary to the common interest of the people,..."

Declaration of Independence:

"He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected,..."

The method of elections or who was elected cannot be changed without the permission of the citizens.

John Locke's Treatise of Civil Government:

"Secondly, When the prince hinders the legislative from assembling in its due time, or from acting freely,..."

Declaration of Independence:

"He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures."

The legislative is being restricted in what they can do, where they can go, or the decisions they make by a corrupt figure that they can't resist.

Comparisons Part 3

John Locke's Treatise of Civil Government:

"...When he who has the supreme executive power neglects and abandons that charge, so that the laws already made can no longer be put in execution;..."

Declaration of Independence:

"...He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them."

If the corrupt tyrant neglects his governors' laws that are of very high importance, the laws will never be put into effect so the country's problems will never be fixed.

Summary

I believe the two similarities that are most important to our government today is the first item listed in Comparisons Part 1 and the first item in Comparisons Part 2. I think that in today's society, some people think they are more superior than other people which contradicts what both John Locke and the Declaration of Independence state. If the way of electing or who was elected is altered, it would not be fair and make the election look like it was rigged. The citizens would also rebel due to the unfairness of the situation.