John Locke's writings greatly influenced the founders of America. Historian David Barton notes that Richard Henry Lee, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, declared that the Declaration itself was "copied from Locke's Treatise on Government." Locke drew so heavily from the Bible in developing his political theories that his two treatises on government cite it over 1500 times. In his writings, he laid the groundwork of modern liberalism, arguing that political societies exist to defend the lives, liberties and properties of their citizens, and that no government has any authority except by the consent of the people. When rulers become tyrants and act against the common good, then the people have a right of revolution against them. Writing against the backdrop of Charles II's savage purge of the Whig movement, Locke set out to attack monarchical absolutism and demolished the intellectual fabric of the divine right of rulers. The rights of property-owners, of native Americans, and of women and children, the need for economic improvement, the separation of powers in the constitution, the meaning of God's commands, and the nature and limits of consent—these are all topics within Locke's compass, and make his book the subject of intense debate.
This is the first modernized edition of the Two Treatises based on Locke's own corrected text as he left it for posterity at his death.
Includes introduction, chronology of Locke's life and times, extensive glossary and key word index.