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Locke: Two Treatises of Government (1680-90)

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In the 1st treatise, “the false principles and foundation of Sir Robert Filmer [the ‘divine right of kings’] are detected and overthrown.” The 2nd treatise is “an essay concerning the true original, extent, and end of civil government.”  Click here to view this book in its entirety.

Locke’s Two Treatises was a seminal work, not only because it helped destroy the concept of “the divine right of kings” in England, but also because it set out the framework for a “social compact” which was heavily relied on in America. Locke’s writings also argued for a natural right of property based on necessity, a theme picked up by Blackstone in his Commentaries, serving as an initial basis for the laws of property in Anglo-American jurisprudence.

Books 1-2, 154 pages, 30 chapters, with chapter bookmarks. Available in .pdf and .prc file formats for reading on your PC, e-reader, tablet or smart phone. This is a fully digital edition of this work – it is not a hard copy publication or facsimile edition. This edition has modernized spelling, capitalization and punctuation. This electronic edition © Copyright 2003, 2005 Lonang Institute.

“To understand political power aright, and derive it from its original, we must consider what estate 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, within the bounds of the law of Nature, without asking leave or depending upon the will of any other man. A state also of equality, wherein all the power and jurisdiction is reciprocal, no one having more than another, there being nothing more evident . . ..”    John Locke, from Two Treatises of Government (1680-1690).

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