Writers That Influenced Our Government

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Writers That Influenced Our Government John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau where two of the greatest influential thinkers, during the enlightenment period in seventeenth and eighteenth century Europe. Both of who had great impact on Jefferson and Madison and as a result Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. John Locke born 1632 died 1704 was one of the greatest philosophers in Europe at the end of the seventeenth century. Locke grew up and lived through one of the most extraordinary centuries of English political and intellectual history. Locke was born in Wrington to Puritan parents of modest means. Jean-Jacques Rousseau was born to Isaac Rousseau and Suzanne Bernard in Geneva on June 28, 1712 and died 1778, was one of the influential thinkers during the Enlightenment in eighteenth century Europe. Locke did not consider man to be a divine creature fixed with ideas on coming into this world. He believed all knowledge comes to us through experience. Locke defended the proposition that government rests on popular consent and rebellion is permissible when government subverts the ends for which it is established i.e. the protection of life, liberty, and property. Jean-Jacques Rousseau philosophy was the idea that people give the government the power to rule over them. Locke advocated governmental checks and balances and believed that revolution is not only a right but an obligation in some circumstances. These ideas would come to have profound influence on the Constitution of the United States and its Declaration of Independence. At the foundation of Rousseau’s thought on government and authority is the idea of the social contract, in which government and authority are a mutual contract between the authorities and the governed; this contract implies that the governed agree to be ruled only so that their rights, property and happiness are
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