John Locke

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John Locke was a 17th Century English philosopher who wrote on political theory and the nature of governance. His works are largely considered to be some of the foremost texts on the philosophical foundations of government.

Among Locke's most famous works is Two Treatises of Government, the second of which outlines, among other things, how and for what purpose governments are formed.

John Locke believed especially in the importance of protecting property rights. He argued that people's ability to hold property made them more interested in the preservation of the government and their community. In his opinion, “the love and want of society, no sooner brought any number of [citizens] together, but they presently united and incorporated” and longed to be together[1] . With this system, Locke had faith that citizens would therefore own property in communities to which they were loyal. He argued that anyone who was not willing to be part of the community, could leave their property, and leave the town, out of their own free will. In this way, only those loyal citizens would remain.

  1. Locke, John. Second Treatise of Government. 1690. Chs VIII-IX. Sec. 101.