Locke v. Jefferson

By. Joshua Torres

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Thomas Jefferson

Born in 1743

Died in 1826

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John Locke

Born in 1634

Died in 1704


Jefferson"Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed."

Locke: "people, who are more disposed to suffer than right themselves by resistance, are not apt to stir."

This is a good comparison because it is talking about how we cant abolish the government over little things. We all need the government to regulate laws and mostly everything to keep peace in the world.

First Comparison

Jefferson: "That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it."

Locke: "that he who attempts to get another man into his absolute power, does thereby put himself into state of war with him; it being to be understood as a declaration of a design upon his life. "

According to Locke and his concepts of the state of war, the term war not only refers to the actual war but to the conflicts as well.

Second Comparison

Jefferson: "and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness."

Locke: "to make laws as the public good of society shall require"

In order to create a new and successful government you have to apply the principles of safety and happiness.

Third Comparison

Jefferson: "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."

Locke: "reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind, who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions"

These quotes believe in the natural rights and basic principles in life.

Fourth Comparison

Jefferson: "When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them"

Locke: "A state also of equality, wherein all the power and jurisdiction is reciprocal, no one having more than another; there being nothing more evident, than that creatures of the same species and rank, promiscuously born to all the same advantages of nature, and the use of the same faculties"

Locke believes we need to separate ourselves form the English government and make a more fair government for the people.

Fifth Comparison

Jefferson: "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,"

Locke: "The beginning of politic society depends upon the consent of individuals, to join into, and make one society."

The social contract theory which tries to explain the reason for leaving the state of nature and entering into the civil society and creating a government