John Locke laid the groundwork of modern liberalism. He argued that political societies exist to defend the lives, liberties and properties of their citizens and that no government has any authority except by the consent of the people. When rulers became tyrants and act against the common good, then the people have the right of revolution against them. Writing against the backdrop of Charles II's savage purge of the Whig movement, Locke set out to attack the fabric of the divine right of rulers. The rights of property– owners, of Native Americans, and of women and children, the need for economic improvement, the separation of commands, and the nature and limits of consent—these are all topics within Locke's compass and make this book the subject of intense debate.
This is the first modernized edition of the Two Treatises based on Locke's own corrected text as he left it for posterity at his death.
Includes introduction, chronology of Loce's life and times, extensive glossary and key word index.
"The notes are excellent. There are very few people likely to pick up Locke who would not find them of use. Would that every edition of a classic work had an index of this quality, allowing the reader to go back and find a previous discussion touching on the same issue. The Introduction is clearly written, intelligent, and the argument is sound. I know of no better short introduction to this work." —Paul A. Rahe, Charles O. Lee and Louise K. Lee Chair in the Western Heritage, Professor of History, Hillsdale College
About the Author
John Locke (1632-1704) was a British political philosopher who is often cited as the father of political liberalism, as well as the first of the British Empiricists. His ideas had enormous influence on the development of epistemology and political philosophy, and he is widely regarded as one of the most influential Enlightenment thinkers and contributors to liberal theory. His writings influenced Voltaire and Rousseau, many Scottish Enlightenment thinkers, as well as the American revolutionaries. This influence is reflected in the American Declaration of Independence.
Mark Goldie is Director of Studies in History and Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge. He is co-editor of The Cambridge History of Political Thought: 1450-1700 and The Cambridge History of Eighteenth-Century Political Thought.