John Locke vs. The DOI

comparing the ideas

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John Locke Views

"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"

"In these and the like cases, when the government is dissolved, the people are at liberty to provide for themselves, by erecting a new legislative, differing from the other, by the change of persons, or form, or both, as they shall find it most for their safety and good"

"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,"

"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; "

"another way whereby governments are dissolved, and that is, when the legislative, or the prince, either of them, act contrary to their trust."

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Declaration of Independance

"All men are created equal"

"Before he enter on the Execution of his office he shall take the following oath or affirmation:- "I do solemnly swear(or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the Inited States"

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

"The President shall have power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate, by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of their next session"

"The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors."


1- In both the Constitution and the John Locke excerpt they touch on the fact that to have a good government you first must have a good foundation and that is by making everyone feel equal under the government.

2- In the John Locke excerpt, it says that the president must have the people's good in mind, and in the Constitution he has to say an oath before becoming president confirming that he only has the people good in mind.

3- Again, in the constitution it says that people have freedom of religion and freedom of speech and freedom of the press, and in Lockes excerpt it says that all men should do so as they think fit.

4- In the Constitution it doesn't really touch on what would happen if the presidency were to dissolve but in Lockes excerpt it talks about what he has to do in order for the presidency to dissolve.

5- The last point for both, is almost the exact same. They both say that if the government members, police officers, or the president go against the trust of the people or even they break laws they are to be taken out of office.


The 2 documents are quite similar in the way that they both touch on most of the same subjects. I like to think that John Lockes 'Second Treatise of Civil Government' is a shorter more modern version of the constitution. The John Locke excerpt touched on the basics that the United States should have. Truth is they have a lot of similarities, and not many comparisons, while of course there are some there arent as many as similarities.