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John Locke

New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common.

The life and writings of John Locke and his enormous impact on knowledge and knowing, politics, religion, government and revolution in three countries firmly positions him as the most influential figure of the 18th century. He not only originated the concepts and rights that are inherent in American government and the Declaration of Independence, but he also developed influential concepts regarding the relationship of the individual to society (the Social Contract), the essence of knowing and ideas, and helped dismantle the concept of Divine Right. Locke’s concepts of government and politics as expressed in Concerning Civil Government were inherent on the formation of the Declaration of Independence (DOI) and responsible for a whole new form of government, one empowered by the common people, “The DOI, which is often cited by uninformed idiots in the media as a marvel of originality, is nothing but a trite paraphrase of the leading ideas in John Locke” (Plagiarism 1). Locke’s concepts would also indirectly influenced the French Revolution whose leaders borrowed ideas fought for during the American Revolution. However, Locke also expressed original and shocking ideas on religion, psychology, the death penalty and even feminism in his works which make his influence today as palpable as it was in his own time and why he remains the most influential figure of the 18th century.

John Locke was born in 1632 and died in 1704 (John Locke 1). His father hoped he would become a minister but he chose to study medicine. He attended Oxford University in England and was greatly influenced by John Owen, the Dean of Christ Church College. Locke’s views on religious tolerance were formed during this time, a viewpoint that set him at odds with the King’s authority. Locke would eventually be charged with sedi...

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John Locke. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 12:38, December 01, 2023, from