Locke compare to U.S.
After reading Machiavelli and Hobbs, I think most citizens of the United States would agree with Locke more than others. Locke’s view of government is the most consistent with our contemporary society; this is probably why he is considered the father of Liberalism. Many branches of our government are modeled after his ideas. In his “Second Treaties of Government,” he portrayed how the government requires an executive and a legislative branch. The legislative makes the laws and the executive enforces them; this is similar to our government except that our government has a judicial branch to check the laws made by the legislative. Locke’s ideas are different from Hobbs in that Hobbs believe that one individual sovereign governs everyone. If there are multiples, then there would be disagreements. But Locke believes that there should be separate branches to check each other. In the readings, Locke also emphasizes the “chief end” of the government, and it is to preserve our property. According to Locke, our properties include our lives, liberties and estates. This is very similar to Thomas Jefferson’s quote “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” in the Declaration of Independence. Through the set up of our government and these similar quotes, it is evident that John Locke was an influential philosopher towards our government. To make a government work, we must unite the people from the state of nature, and form a government that represents the people. To be protected by the government, we must give up certain individual rights we would have in the state of nature. We have to abort our right of punishment as an individual. Under the government, we must hand over the people who have done us wrong to the government and allow them to see the punishment fit for their crimes. In his chapter about war, Locke states that wars can destroy the former government, but without the consent of people, it cannot enact another one. This traces back to U.S. democracy. In democracy, the majority people have to give consent to the government otherwise it would be void. When the government exercises control outside of its boundaries, then it becomes a tyrant. If the laws made by the government cease to preserve the properties of the people, then it is considered tyranny. John Locke’s ideas were the base of our constitution. He was influential to many intelligent American philosophers during the construct of the government.