Political Legacy: John Locke and the American Government
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John Locke, commonly known as the father of classical liberalism, has arguably influenced the United States government more than any other political philosopher in history. His political theories include the quintessential American ideals of a right to life, liberty, and property, as well as the notion that the government is legitimized through the consent of the governed. Locke's theories guided the founding fathers through the creation of the American government and form the political backbone upon which this nation was founded. His theories form the foundation of principal American documents such as the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, and they permeate the speeches, writings, and letters of our founding fathers. Locke's ideas define our world so thoroughly that we take them axiomatically. Locke's ideas are our tradition. They are our right. This thesis seeks to understand John Locke's political philosophy and the role that he played in the creation of the United States government.