A Catholic Scottish jurist whose work De Regno et Regali potestate (1600) advocated the divine right of kings. Locke quotes and discusses Barclay in chapter XIX of the Second Treatise. Barclay garnered the approbation of the English King James I, but chose to reside in France instead of join James I’s court. Barclay’s last work, De Potestate Papae (1609), dealt with the impropriety of the pope exercising too much control over kings in earthly matters.
Sir Robert Filmer
An English political theorist whose work Patriarcha, or the Natural Rights of Kings posthumously published in 1680 was thoroughly critiqued and refuted by Locke in his First Treatise and again throughout the text of the Second Treatise. Filmer claimed God gave Adam dominion over all men; this is the basis for the divine right of kings and absolute monarchy as well as the dominion of a father over his family.
An English political philosopher whose work Leviathan (1651) established the basis of the social contract theory that Locke dealt with in his Second Treatise. Scholars dispute the degree to which Locke was explicitly responding to Hobbes in his own work (his name is never mentioned in the Two Treatises).
An English Anglican priest and theologian who Locke quotes extensively in the Second Treatise. Hooker’s book Of the Lawes of Ecclesiastical Politie (1593) was profoundly influential for Locke; it dealt with the governance of the church as well as the need for reason and tradition when interpreting the Bible.
King James I
English monarch whose reign lasted from 1567-1625. James I was an example of an absolute monarch.
A biblical character in the Book of Judges. He led the Israelites against the Ammonites, who had taken the Israelites’ land. Locke uses Jephthah as an example multiple times throughout the Second Treatise of someone who was in a state of war with another and could only rely upon the judgment of God after all earthly appeals were ignored.
Second Treatise of Government Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Second Treatise of Government is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
Locke felt that it was natural law that all people have the right to life, liberty, and estate. The people make a social contract with government that allows them to instigate a revolution against the government when it goes against the best...
In Chapter 19, Locke discusses the ways in which government can be dissolved. The first is when the legislature is altered, for it is the will of society and the body in which all members are combined into one. The constitution’s creation of the...