According to John Locke, the fundamental element that made government legitimate is the consent of the people. This can be seen in his Second Treatise of Government. In this work, Locke argues that all governments must be based on the consent of those governed. The purpose of government is to protect the rights of citizens and ensure they are treated fairly. Government exists to serve its citizens, not vice versa.
Locke’s theory of government was based on the idea that people have natural rights and liberties. These natural rights include life, liberty and property. People are entitled to these rights because they are human beings, not because they belong to any particular country or society.
According to Locke’s theory, governments exist only as long as they can justify their right to rule by appealing to the consent of those who are governed. If rulers fail to gain this consent through fair and just laws and institutions, then they cease being legitimate rulers and must be overthrown by force if necessary (or replaced if possible).
In addition, Locke believed that all governments were based on two different types of power – political power and natural power. Political power is given by God to those who govern, while natural power is derived from an individual’s sense of self-preservation. Natural rights are also a part of this natural power. These rights include life, liberty and property – although they may be limited in certain ways by government action.