John Locke


Born in England, at period of glorious revolution. It was a bloodless revolution, slowly transfer of the King’s power to the parliament , to solve the political problems of then England and supporting this revolution Locke wrote book ‘Two treatise on Civil Government.’ There is description of constitutional limited government means limited and liberal democracy.

State of nature was of pre-political condition rather than pre-social. Men were descent, orderly, social, capable of ruling themselves.

Feeling of brotherhood and justice and natural law. Peace, goodwill, mutual assistance and preservation. But people felt lack of three political needs.

a)To execute the natural law.

b)To interpret the natural law.



c)To punish the breaker of law.

So they came into the social contract to fulfill their needs through limited government. Contract was of each with all, so it was trust or fiduciary.

  • They contracted to have majority rule based on the consent of the people. Contract was irrevocable.
  • Contract was for limited government. Locke regards state and government as two distinct entities and government is an agent of society which is created to promote the general good and social welfare.
  • He provides for an effective government imposing some restraints upon its power so that it may not be abused.
  • His sovereignty is divided, not indivisible (divided into executive, legislature, judiciary, and federation). He resorts to the theory of separation of powers.
  • His sovereignty is limited not absolute. Government can be dissolved through periodic elections which are provided for to enforce the responsibility of the executive to the people.
  • His state was tolerant (not to interfere people’s idea and consents).
  • Government should manage to secure to each individual – his life, liberty, and property.
  • Government should be established to provide a standard interpretation of the law of nature.
  • Government, to provide an impartial authority which shall settle all the disputes arising among persons in accordance with laws.
  • Thus Locke preferred the liberal democratic form to secure the principle of consent through constitutional monarch. Governments’ form may vary from time to time, the state remains the same forever.