Up@dawn 2.0

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Section 8- Devin Willis : Installment 1- John Locke

For this installment, I chose to talk about John Locke and his philosophy on politics. In addition, I will be stating some of the works he’s known for contributing to the American government. John Locke is considered to be the most important thinker of politics. John Locke is best known for his contributions in American government; which are now taught in history classes.  Locke was born on August 29, 1632, in Wrington, a village in the English county of Somerset. Locke’s father was a country lawyer and sometimes a judge; who was involved with the English government. Therefore, Locke was surrounded by politics all his life and he grew to love it. So, like his father, Locke chose to take the same route. Locke went to school, dedicated to his studies, exceling in all school curriculums throughout his life.  Later, Locke would be involved with the politics in American governments working as secretary to the Earl of Shaftesbury, then chancellor of the exchequer. Locke assisted in drafting the Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina and was secretary to the Council of Trade and Plantations and a member of the Board of Trade.
Locke is referred to as “The Father of Liberalism,” because of his development of the principles of humanism and individual freedom. Locke is said to be the first person to come up with the notion of life, liberty, and estate. In comparison, Locke is responsible for the same libertarianism writings in the Declaration of Independence and U.S Constitution. His documents Second Treatise on Government and Letters on Toleration are some of the founding pieces of work for liberalism. These documents lead the foundation for a limited government, tolerance for religious differences, and private property rights. However, despite his philosophy of humanism and individual freedom; Locke proved himself to be a hypocrite by promoting and benefiting from slavery.
It’s astonishing how someone can claim to be for the people but distinguishes who “the people” are and not. He states that slaves are just “prisoners taken in a just war.” Which I find hard to fathom since slavery went on for generations and children were born into the inhumane and unjust treatments of slavery in America. I can’t understand how you can separate the conception of freedom based on color. In addition, I doubt any slave voluntarily gave up their freedom to work for another man, and for no pay. So, they deserved to have those rights that America stated in the Constitution. The constitution’s writing does not state a division within the people so, I just don’t understand how it can be translated as such. Although, the documentations weren’t applied as stated in those days, I’m glad to say that it has changed and those rights are given today. Even though, Locke wasn’t fully into his notion of freedom and liberty; he did start the movement for equality, therefore, his philosophy remains unique.
In conclusion, Locke’s philosophy of humanism and individual freedom birth the U.S Constitution. His philosophy gave us the rights we know of today and despite some of his actions, his contributions are amount less to our society. 



  1. I found this topic very interesting and I did not know it was because of Locke's philosophy that gave us our rights.

  2. "his contributions are amount less to our society" - ?

    To the larger point: "Locke wasn’t fully into his notion of freedom and liberty" - no, he was a product of his time. But isn't that often the way? People introduce ideas, others expand them and introduce principles of inclusion that their founders couldn't grasp. Give Locke the credit he's due, and give his successors and expanders theirs.