John Locke

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John Locke

John Locke

Locke reasons that, all men are “naturally in” “a state of perfect freedom to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions and persons, as they think fit, within the bounds of the law of nature, without asking leave, or depending upon the will of any other man.” Simply put, Locke believes that all men are born naturally free. In his pamphlet, Second Treatise on Civil Government, Locke argues against popular belief at the time, that people are automatically subject to any given monarch, but instead, that governments serve to promote and protect public good and order. Furthermore, Locke believes society should have control over who governs them and have the power to elect a new leader if needed. Therefore, Locke, through Second Treatise on Civil Government, justifies the Glorious Revolution where the Protestant, William and Mary replaced the Catholic, James II.

John Locke and The Glorious Revolution

John Locke was one of the most famous and impactful philosophers and political theorists of th 17th century. Regarded as one of the main intelectual inspirations for the Enlightenment along with Isaac Newton, Locke is best known for his Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690), where he argued that every person was born with a tabular rasa, or blank mind. Locke was born in 1632, in a small village in southwestern England called Wrington. As a teenager he was sent to Westminster School in London, and later progressed to Oxford where he remained from 1652 to 1667. Locke's most famous and influential works consisted of "Essay Concerning Human Understanding" where he outlined his theory that all human knowledge is based off of experience, "Second Treatise on Civil Government" where he discusses the role of religion in politics, "Thoughts Concerning Education" where he argues for better treatment of students and a larger syllabus, and "Letters Concerning Toleration" where he advocated for religious tolerance. Locke passed away on October 24, 1704, while his wife read him the psalms.


1. “No man’s knowledge here can go beyond his experience”2. “Parents wonder why the streams are bitter, when they themselves have poisoned the fountain”3. The end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom. For in all the states of created beings capable of law, where there is no law, there is no freedom.

Interesting Facts

1.John Locke’s closest female friend was the philosopher Lady Damaris Cudworth Masham. Before she married the two had exchanged love poems, and on his return from exile, Locke moved into Lady Damaris and her husband’s household.2. John Locke's father was a lawyer who had fought for the Biritish Parliament. Using his wartime connections, he placed his son in the elite Westminster School. 3. Locke had a close friendship with The Earl of Shaftsbury. In 1666 he conducted a very delicate operation on his liver that likely saved his life.



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