Jefferson vs Locke

George Fairchild, Hannah Jiao, Cassidy Packer 6th Period

Our government is based on The Declaration of Independence

Thomas Jefferson is also a well known politician who was also one of our founding fathers who was instrumental in the writing of our Declaration of Independence that our own government today is grounded on. Jefferson's ideas were based off of John Locke's theories and own thoughts, but when compared, some of the ideas are not exactly identical.

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Comparing Their Ideas

  • John Locke stated in his Two Treatises Of Government "Life, Liberty, and Property"

Thomas Jefferson stated and reworded in "Life, Liberty, and The Pursuit of Happiness"

"independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions…"

  • In both writings is that they are strongly focused on the belief that all men are created equal and have the right to happiness. "A state also of equality, wherein all the power and jurisdiction is reciprocal, no one having more"
  • They both wanted to have a leader that worked to help the people, not a person who had total control and did not work to help the people. "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"
  • Thomas Jefferson believed in inalienable rights for the people, while John Locke believed in natural rights meaning god given rights for the people. "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."
  • Both Thomas Jefferson and John Locke believed that the people can overturn or overrun the government if it proved to be tyrannical or defective. "There is one way more whereby such a government may be dissolved, and that is: 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;"
  • John Locke and Thomas Jefferson both made it evident that they were against slavery and that all men are equal. "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. . ."


The two similarities between them that we believe are important is that we have a leader to lead us, but does not have total tyrannical control. We Vote on the president, and he only has so much control. The other similarity is that if the government is corrupt, we can overturn it, such as laws that we do not agree we or ideas. We can overturn ideas and decide what is best for our country. These ideas are instrumental because they have shaped our country and made us a working and successful nation.