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Books authored by John Locke, one attacks the divine right of kings and the other discusses his views on the proper role of government
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  • Two Treatises of Government

    Two Treatises of Government (or Two Treatises of Government: In the Former, The False Principles, and Foundation of Sir Robert Filmer, and his Followers, are Detected and Overthrown. The Latter is an Essay Concerning the True Original, Extent, and End of Civil Government) is a work of political philosophy published anonymously in 1689 by John Locke. The First Treatise attacks patriarchalism in the form of sentence-by-sentence refutation of Robert Filmer's Patriarcha, while the Second Treatise outlines Locke's ideas for a more civilized society based on natural rights and contract theory.


    John Locke, by William Uzgalis, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 7 Jul 2022
    Major sections: Historical Background and Locke's Life - The Limits of Human Understanding - Locke's Major Works on Education - The Two Treatises Of Government - Locke and Religious Toleration - Bibliography - Other Internet Resources
    The Two Treatises of Government were published in 1689, long after the rebellion plotted by the Country party leaders had failed to materialize and after Shaftsbury had fled the country for Holland and died. The introduction of the Two Treatises was written after the Glorious Revolution of 1688, and gave the impression that the book was written to justify the Glorious Revolution. We now know that the Two Treatises of Government were written during the Exclusion crisis in 1681 and may have been intended in part to justify the general armed rising which the Country Party leaders were planning.
    Related Topic: John Locke
    John Locke—Natural Rights to Life, Liberty, and Property, by Jim Powell, The Freeman, Aug 1996
    Extensive biographical essay, including summaries of his major works
    Locke worked in his bookshelf-lined room at Shaftesbury's Exeter House, drawing on his experience with political action. He wrote one treatise which attacked Filmer's doctrine. Locke denied Filmer's claim that the Bible sanctioned tyrants and that parents had absolute authority over children. Locke wrote a second treatise, which presented an epic case for liberty and the right of people to rebel against tyrants. While he drew his principles substantially from [James] Tyrrell, he pushed them to their radical conclusions: namely, an explicit attack on slavery and defense of revolution.
    Locke, John (1632-1704), by Eric Mack, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
    Biographical and bibliographical essay
    John Locke was perhaps the most influential and paradigmatic of classical liberal thinkers ... His major and mature works in political philosophy were Two Treatises of Government (written 1680–1683, published in 1689) and the Letter Concerning Toleration ... The core of Locke's classical liberalism is presented in the Second Treatise of Government. Here Locke laid out his famous doctrines of natural rights, property rights, the consensual creation of government, and the conditions under which individual and collective resistance to government is justified.
    Module 2: John Locke's Two Treatises of Government
    Second module of the Cato Home Study Course, includes link to listen or download audio program (2:41:50), questions and suggested readings
    Suggested Additional Reading
    John Locke, Two Treatises of Government. Although a variety of editions of this classic work are available, the most highly recommended is the one edited by Peter Laslett, which provides useful notes and an introduction. The Second Treatise is well worth reading in its entirety, both to appreciate the logic of its arguments and to experience for oneself the rigor of Locke's libertarian, or Whig, arguments for liberty.
    Murray Rothbard's Favorite Books, by David Gordon, 3 Mar 2007
    Based on a 1994 list composed by Rothbard himself and titled "Books That Formed Me"
    Rothbard's thought combined ... Austrian economics with individualist anarchism; and in his recommendations ... the nineteenth-century anarchists occupy the foremost place. Lysander Spooner's No Treason, Number 6: The Constitution of No Authority is "arguably the greatest case for anarchist political philosophy ever written." ... However important the individualist anarchists, political theory did not begin with them. The anarchist view develops strands in the thought of John Locke, whose Second Treatise on Government is "the classic." Rothbard calls Spooner an "anarcho-Lockean."
    Related Topic: Murray N. Rothbard


    The Second Treatise of Civil Government, by John Locke, 1690
    Partial contents: Of the State of Nature - Of the State of War - Of Slavery - Of Property - Of Paternal Power - Of Political or Civil Society - Of the Beginning of Political Societies - Of Conquest - Of Tyranny - Of the Dissolution of Government
    Related Topic: Government

    The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Two Treatises of Government" as of 8 Jul 2022, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.