In the Second Treatise of Government, John Locke discusses men’s move from a state of nature characterized by perfect freedom and governed by reason to a civil government in which the authority is vested in a legislative and executive power. Eventually, people begin to trade their excess goods with each other, until they develop a common currency for barter, or money. Locke wrote them in favor of the Glorious Revolution. They cannot be forced into allegiance or fealty to a government. He defines natural liberty as freedom from any dominating power or existence under the rule of the law of nature. The government has no sovereignty of its own--it exists to serve the people. The civil society has a legislative and executive power. In the state of nature, natural law governs behavior, and each person has license to execute that law against someone who wrongs … Locke's Second Treatise on Civil Government. In 1689 when Locke was writing, America was still an English colony and had not yet declared independence. Liberty in society is existence under a legislative power that has been formed by … SparkNotes is brought to you by Barnes & Noble. People take what they need from the earth, but hoard just enough to cover their needs. The people give up their rights to perfect freedom, judgment, and punishment, and invest these powers in a legislative and executive power. Locke's remarks on the possibility that the executive will block elections are particularly incisive. Preface. The executive power enforces the laws of the legislature and exercises the power of prerogative, which is the ability to use discretion to enforce the public good even if the laws must be circumvented or ignored. They can restore it with new leadership, change it, or create an entirely new system of government. Use up and down arrows to review and enter to select. https://www.gradesaver.com/second-treatise-of-government/study-guide/summary-chapter-iv-of-slavery. "Second Treatise of Government Summary". Chapter Summary for John Locke's Second Treatise of Government, chapter 7 summary. Absolute monarchs who do so are guilty of creating a state of war between themselves and their subjects. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Locke's Second Treatise on Civil Government and what it means. The state of nature is entirely free but men find that other men may interfere with their ability to protect their property. The civil government is based upon the bond of trust between the people and their authority. Locke's fundamental argument is that people are equal and invested with natural rights in a state of nature in which they live free from outside rule. To sum up, Locke's model consists of a civil state, built upon the natural rights common to a people who need and welcome an executive power to protect their property and liberties; the government exists for the people's benefit and can be replaced or overthrown if it ceases to function toward that primary end. People then exchange some of their natural rights to enter into society with other people, and be protected by common laws and a common executive power to enforce the laws. In a state of nature, man’s property (in terms of land) is directly correlated to the labor he puts into it. Buy Study Guide. Locke's fundamental argument is that people are equal and invested with natural rights in a state of nature in which they live free from outside rule. They are governed by reason and seek the preservation of mankind. Money eliminates limits on the amount of property they can obtain (unlike food, money does not spoil), and they begin to gather estates around themselves and their families. In terms of slavery, Locke states that it is only just for a man to be enslaved when he forfeits his life due to his usage of force against his conqueror. The Second Treatise of Government places sovereignty into the hands of the people. Second Treatise of Government Summary. In 1789, when America’s Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution, they drew heavily from the Second Treatise of Government. John Locke: Second Treatise of Civil Government John Locke had his Two Treatises of Government published in 1690, two years after the Glorious Revolution occurred, which replaced King James II with King William III. Complete summary of John Locke's Two Treatises of Government. Millions of books are just a click away on BN.com and through our FREE NOOK reading apps. Locke frequently employs the Americans as an example of an emerging civil society and government. A government only exists when it has the consent of the people, and thus, can be dissolved when it has failed them. Second Treatise of Government essays are academic essays for citation. The Question and Answer section for Second Treatise of Government is a great Summary. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Locke's Second Treatise on Civil Government and what it means. The people gave up their freedom, and in turn, they expect the authority to act with the public good always in mind. 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 civil state is beholden to the people, and has power over the people only insofar as it exists to protect and preserve their welfare. Find a summary of this and each chapter of Second Treatise of Government! Chapter VII: Of Political or Civil Society, Chapter VIII: Of the Beginning of Political Societies, Chapter IX: Of the Ends of Political Society and Government, Chapter X: Of the Forms of a Commonwealth, and Chapter XI: Of the Extent of Legislative Power, Chapter XII: Of the Legislative, Executive, and Federative Power of the Commonwealth, and Chapter XIII: Of the Subordination of the Powers of the Commonwealth, Chapter XIV: Of Prerogative, and Chapter XV: Of Paternal, Political, and Despotical Power, Considered Together, Chapter XVI: Of Conquest, and Chapter XVII: Of Usurpation, Chapter XIX: Of the Dissolution of Government, Read the Study Guide for Second Treatise of Government…, An Examination of Leviathan and The Second Treatise of Government, Individual Identity: Locke on the "Sameness of a Being", The Muddled Philosophy and Life of John Locke, View our essays for Second Treatise of Government…, Read the E-Text for Second Treatise of Government…, View Wikipedia Entries for Second Treatise of Government…. In Second Treatise of Government, Locke examines the evolution of man, beginning with man in the state of nature, where the power of reason and complete natural freedom guided him through life. GradeSaver, 12 September 2011 Web. It can only be lifted when the aggressor is killed or reparations are made. Second Treatise of Government e-text contains the full text of Second Treatise of Government by John Locke. He comments that such an action is an abuse, legitimately warranting the people's opposition by force. A state of war exists when one man uses force against another. As populations grow and societies establish currencies, a government is needed to regulate property. Locke thinks they had freedom of life, liberty, and property. Wang, Bella ed. Locke begins by addressing the reader directly and states that he hopes his discourse will affirm the right of King William as the ruler of England. Locke does not believe democracy is the only type of valid government, but he does firmly state that absolute monarchies are completely at odds with civil society because the ruler has no limitations on his power. Here Locke anticipates some of his main ideas in the final chapter of the Second Treatise, "Of the Dissolution of Government." In the Second Treatise of Government, John Locke discusses men’s move from a state of nature characterized by perfect freedom and governed by reason to a civil government in which the authority is vested in a legislative and executive power. According to Locke, what freedoms did people have before the founding of governments? Summary. Locke completes his picture of a just civil society by returning to his original impetus for writing the Second Treatise--the dissolution of government in the face of tyranny. Locke has lain his groundwork so soundly that his argument for the dissolution of government requires no new ideas, only a synthesis of everything covered so far. Locke describes a state with a separate judicial, legislative, and executive branch--the legislative branch being the most important of the three, since it determines the laws that govern civil society. King William rules by consent of the people, which is the only lawful government. Loche had two notions of slavery: legitimate slavery was captivity with forced labor imposed by the just winning side in a war; illegitimate slavery was an authoritarian deprivation of natural rights. A summary of Part X (Section4) in John Locke's Locke's Second Treatise on Civil Government. The Treatise begins with a discussion of the state of nature. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of Two Treatises of Government. Locke's Second Treatise on Civil Government was written by John Locke and published in 1690. A summary of Part X (Section2) in John Locke's Locke's Second Treatise on Civil Government. resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel. Copyright © 1999 - 2020 GradeSaver LLC. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Locke's Second Treatise on Civil Government and what it means.