The Second Treatise of Government and A Letter Concerning Toleration

The Second Treatise of Government and A Letter Concerning Toleration

by John Locke

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Overview

A highly influential figure in the Age of Enlightenment in England and France, whose works helped inspire the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, John Locke was one of the most important political theorists in Western history. In The Second Treatise of Government, a major contribution to the principles underlying modern democracies, he achieved two objectives: refuting the concept of the divine right of monarchy, and establishing a theory of government based on the ultimate sovereignty of the people.
In A Letter Concerning Toleration, composed as early as 1667 but not published for political reasons until 1689 — after the "Glorious Revolution" — Locke pleaded for religious tolerance on grounds similar to his argument for political freedom, i.e., that all men are by nature "free, equal, and independent," and are entitled to freedom of thought, freedom of speech, and freedom of worship. To help guarantee the latter freedom, Locke called for separation of church and state.
The basis of social and political philosophy for generations, these works laid the foundation of the modern democratic state in England and abroad. Their enduring importance makes them essential reading for students of philosophy, history, and political science.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780486424644
Publisher: Dover Publications
Publication date: 08/14/2002
Series: Dover Thrift Editions
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 162,491
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x (d)
Age Range: 14 Years

About the Author

Mark Goldie is a member of the editorial board of the Clarendon Edition of the Works of John Locke, and former editor of the Historical Journal. He has published extensively in the field of British political, religious, and intellectual history, 1650-1800. Among his edited volumes are The Cambridge History of Political Thought, 1450-1700, The Cambridge History of Eighteenth-Century Political Thought, Locke's Political Essays (Cambridge) and Selected Correspondence (Oxford).

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