Summary Of John Locke's Second Practice Of Government

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Chapter 8 of The Second Treatise of Government begins with John Locke stating that all individuals, by nature, are born free and equal, each declaring their own natural rights. Locke explains that to protect oneself and one’s property a man must join with others to create a politic community where they must follow certain standards to insure the safety of the commonwealth. He continues on to say that to establish this commonwealth, one is required to give up some of his fundamental rights. In this established civil society, Locke argues that the majority must be the main governing factor and the legislative and executive powers must be limited. John Locke believes in a stable yet limited government in which the majority dominates without violating the people’s natural rights. Locke starts off by emphasizing the concept of consent by majority. He notes that civil societies cannot be formed without the consent of the people governed. By joining a civil society with consent, Locke states, an individual relinquishes their rights and agrees to follow the decisions made by the majority whether they are in his preference or not. He argues, “…it is necessary the body should move that way whither the greater force carries it, which is the consent of the majority…” (Locke 8). He explains that it is…show more content…
He says, “…the form of government depending upon the placing the supreme power, which is the legislative…” meaning the type of government chosen depends on the placement of the legislature, since it is the supreme power. He describes the different types of government that a civil society can choose to follow. The majority can choose a democracy where the legislative power is in the majority’s hands, an oligarchy where a group of people are selected to hold the legislative power, or a monarchy where all legislative power is given to one

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