Why did John Locke Write Two Treatises of Government?
Commonly referred to as the “Father of Liberalism”, John Locke was born in the August of 1632. An English physician and philosopher, he is accredited with being one of the most prominent of all English Enlightenment intellectuals of his time. His main interests lay in the study of economics, metaphysics, philosophy pertaining to the mind, political philosophy and epistemology.
Two Treatises of Government
Published in 1689 under an assumed pseudonym, the Two Treatises of Government has 2 parts to it; the “First Treatise” and the “Second Treatise”. The first part goes head on against patriarchalism in the structure of sentence by sentence disproval of “Patriarcha” written by Robert Filmer. The second part sketches out the draft for a theory of political and/or civil society that is based upon the contract theory & natural rights. The reasons for why did John Locke write Two Treatises of Government? Quite a few really. Why? This particular publication of John Locke is surrounded by conflicts, allegations & discrepancy.
Writing of Two Treatises of Government?
Not only just this, his theory of the mind is commonly quoted as the starting point of modern day beginning of the self and human identity. The answer to why did John Locke write two Treatises of Government is a derivative of all these passions and interests that Locke held within himself and transferred onto paper.
Let us start answering that question by speaking about discrepancy. William the 3rd of Holland invaded England and overthrew the then king in power; King James the 2nd. This historical switch of powers is referred to as the “Glorious Revolution” and also as “The Revolution of 1688”. By tossing out King James, William himself became the king and was anointed King William the 3rd of England.
Conflicts Regarding Two Treatises of Government
Now here is where the discrepancy and conflict arises. John Locke claims that it was in 1688 that he wrote the preface to the Two Treatises of Government in order to justify the taking of the throne by William the 3rd. However, on the other hand, Peter Laslett is of the opinion that Locke wrote majority of the book between 1679 & 1680. Laslett also claims that Locke got to revise his writing till 1683 during the time period that he was exiled; this was one of the major allegations against Locke.
Understanding the Society
The argument that John Locke presents in the first part is that a society cannot exist under the rule & vigilance of a religious body such as the Church. With no holds barred, Locke even ridiculed the scriptures and the notion that monarchism was the divine right given to kings by God; this man was indeed very vocal for his times.
And in the second part John Locke presents his notion of what is considered to be a civil and sane society living under the rule of a government that has been chosen by the people themselves i.e. the notion of democracy. He therefore claims that any government that comes into power without the consent of people will eventually get overthrown no matter what because it would not be enjoying the masses’ favor or support. These are the reasons that answer the question as to why did John Locke write Two Treatises of Government.