How Did John Locke Influence American Government?

Updated: December 11, 2022
John Locke is one of the most influential philosophers in history. His ideas about natural rights, social contract theory, and the separation of powers were all influential in shaping the American government.
Detailed answer:

John Locke was a philosopher who lived in the 17th century. He was born in England, but later moved to France and then Holland.

John Locke’s ideas about natural rights and limited government were influential in the development of the U.S. Constitution.

Locke argued that the natural state of man is one of freedom and equality. He believed that the only legitimate purpose of government is to protect the natural rights of its citizens, and that government should be limited in its powers and that citizens should have the right to overthrow a government that violates their natural rights.

He also believed that people have certain natural rights—such as life, liberty, and property—that cannot be taken away by any person or government. These ideas were influential in the development of the U.S. Constitution, which affirms these principles in its preamble: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…”

Our Founding Fathers were greatly influenced by Locke’s writings on government and society. Locke’s ideas about checks and balances were influential in the development of the U.S. system of government. The founders wanted to prevent any branch from becoming too powerful so they divided power between them – this means each branch has some control over another branch’s actions (executive over legislative; legislative over judiciary).

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