Ideas Of The Past

By Andrew Brinkley

Jhon Locke

English Philosopher , Physician , and a man whos opinion became pretty important. Not a man to take lightly or ignore. This was the age of enlightenment and philosophers were a dime a dozen, yet he pushed through and became extremely influential earning titles such as "The father of classical liberalism". His work influenced the likes of Voltaire and Rousseau going as far as to become ideals included in the declaration of independence.

Thomas Jefferson

A man with quite the track record , founding father, third president of the united states of america , and the principle author of the declaration of independence. With a life of politics it was no surprise that he met with the founding fathers and helped create the deceleration of independence. Some other notable things about his life could be the trail of tears and his help in founding the democratic-republican party

Compare and contrast

"That all men are created equal"(Jefferson,5)

"Wherein all the power and jurisdiction is reciprocal, no one having more than the other" (Locke, sec.4)

These quotes basically say that no one man has more power than the other. All men are equal. jefferson simply took the deeper meaning and applied it to the constitution

"That among these are life,liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" (Jefferson, 6)

"No one ought to harm another in his life,health,liberty,or possessions" (Locke, sec.6)

All men are entitled to certain rights, and no one can take these rights away from any man. Here we can simply see Jefferson's streamlined version of Lockes ideas condensing and refining them to suit his needs

"Governments are instituted among men,deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed"(Jefferson,7)

"When any one, or more, shall take upon them to make laws, whom the people have not appointed so to do so,they make laws without authority."(Locke)

The people give the government power. If the people do not consent then the government has no power. Jefferson takes this ideal i assume due to the fact that England's central all powerful government was harsh

"it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government."(Jefferson 4)

"When any one, or more, shall take upon them to make laws, whom the people have not appointed so to do, they make laws without authority, which the people are not therefore bound to obey; 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." ( Locke sec.-212 )

here we talk about the right to overthrow an unjust government and the right to deny false laws and unjust rules. jefferson puts it simply and uses this so that any unjust government may be abolished

"The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it " (Locke sec 6)

"Governments are instituted among men" ( Jefferson)

This last one talks about the right of self government and how its as much a part of nature as anything else without it there would be anarchy and i believe jefferson put this one in to prevent such.


If i had to pick two quotes and similarities from the works of locke and that of Jefferson's deceleration of independence i would first have to talk about the unalienable rights such as all men are created equal. both writers put it very simply and its nearly identical.This has a huge impact on our government today as many controversial topics arise such as gay rights and same sex marriage and how black people are treated. if it weren't for that right i feel the world would be a different place in the united states.

the last comparison of second importance to me would be the right to overthrow an unjust government. Again both Locke and Jefferson agree and exemplify this concept witch in my opinion makes perfect sense. Who would want to live under a tyrant who has all the power and treats you like dirt. This right saves us from the possibility of such an action and