This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

State Of War John Locke

641 words - 3 pages

Bruce Anderson
Marvin Stern
Development of the American Experience
24 November 2009
The Constituents of a State of War
John Locke defines the state of war, and the rightful response of a man to it, as follows.
The State of War is a state of enmity and destruction: And therefore declaring by word or action, not a passionate and hasty, but a sedate settled design upon another man’s life, puts him in a state of war with him against whom he has declared such an intention, and so has exposed his life to the other’s power to be taken away by him, or any one that joins with him in his defence, and espouses his quarrel: it being reasonable and just I should have a right to destroy that which threatens me with destruction. (Locke 689)
In 1776, the Declaration of Independence was written by Thomas Jefferson in response to the improper treatment of the ...view middle of the document...

This list of grievances is lengthy, suggesting that the wrong doings described had accumulated over the years. This means that this document is a response to the moment in which Jefferson and America recognized that if the King was willing to commit all these atrocities, there is no reason that he might not go farther, and completely destroy their lives. With this, it is clear that America had been forced into a state of war with Britain. In this position, America would be acting within its rights if it chose to pursue the destruction of Great Britain in order to free itself from its absolute power.
Self defense laws reflect this new definition of the consequences of a state of war. The use of deadly force is only permitted to prevent imminent death, sexual assault or severe bodily harm. Use of deadly force for any other reason is seen as excessive and the victim will be seen as the aggressor. It is also mandatory that a person flee if at all possible. These laws attempt to bring about a level of response that best preserves all human life. The choice of America to disassociate from Britain, rather than destroy it reflects the same idea. To attack Great Britain would only bring about more destruction of human lives.
A state of war is a state in which the ultimate goal of both side is destruction of another. To attempt to control another’s life, to strip them of their free will, is to endanger their existence. The natural course of action is to destroy that which aims to destroy you. While this may be true, America’s Declaration of Independence is a prime example of human ingenuity to overcome a natural state and make progress. It shows that man does not and should not have to exist in a state of nature. This is “one great reason of men’s putting themselves into society and quitting the state of nature” (Locke 690). The choice to do so helps avoid the state of war, and creates an option to appeal to the laws men create to raise the quality of life.
Works Cited

Other Essays Like State of War - John Locke

The Idea of Consent in the Works of Locke and Rousseau

1622 words - 7 pages The Idea of Consent in the Works of Locke and Rousseau The idea of consent is a key element in the works of John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. In the "Second Treatise of Government," Locke puts forth his conception of the ideal form of government based on a social contract. As Locke develops his theory of consent, he also incorporates theories of political obligation on the part of all citizens of his state as well as his theory of

Enlightenment to Revolution Essay

802 words - 4 pages “taxation without representation”. Philosopher John Locke believed that the government should have permission from the people before passing a law. Another conflict arose during the revolution when Britain refused to give Americans the same rights as them when the Americans asked. Many Americans decided they wanted independence and to be broken off from Britain. During the war, colonial leaders such as Patrick Henry, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin met

Article Response

1026 words - 5 pages Running Head: ARTICLE RESPONSEArticle Response: John Locke, "Of Property."[Writer Name][Institute Name]Article Response: John Locke, "Of Property."In the Second Treatise of Government by John Locke wrote in 1690, writes about the right to private property. The chapter entitled "of property" tells how came the right to private property, and the role it plays in the state of nature, and the restrictions that have been set on private property

Rousseau's Approach To Law

1267 words - 6 pages must have been like in the state of nature. Hobbes had recounted the progress of mankind from a `horrible state of war` with each other and Locke’ had said it was a `very precarious, very unsafe` existence that had led to a more secure and organised way of life. Rousseau argued that writers before him had been unable to understand the natural conditions of man, because they `carried over to the state of nature` ideas

An Articulated Elucidation Of Locke's Theory On Private Property And The Implications It Imposes On Sovereigntyheory Of Property

2137 words - 9 pages Perhaps one of, if not the, most historically influential political thinkers of the western world was John Locke. John Locke, the man who initiated what is now known as British Empiricism, is also considered highly influential in establishing grounds, theoretically at least, for the constitution of the United States of America. The basis for understanding Locke is that he sees all people as having natural God given rights. As God's creations

Civil Right

422 words - 2 pages changed greatly over the years. The original concept was rooted in 18th-century politics and philosophy. The decay of absolute monarchy led to efforts to check and limit royal power. In England the political philosopher John Locke gave shape to the new concept of individual natural rights against the state. Locke also believed that natural rights should be guaranteed against incursions by other persons as well as by the state.In France, at the

Age Of Enlightenment

1243 words - 5 pages experimentation. It involved a new perspective on the world. During the period of Enlightenment, many people were opposed to the government. One man known as John Locke expressed the theory of government and the rights of the people. In document 3, John Locke stated all men were given natural rights. Natural Rights were the rights men were born with, the rights of life, liberty and property. John Locke also stated if the government fails to protect those

American Government

1148 words - 5 pages elected as House leader Will be replaced by John Boehner House of Representatives Currently 255 Democrats, 180 Republicans (Democratic majority) -After November 2, 2010 elections it changed to: 242 Republicans, 191 Democrats, 2 undecided (Republican majority) -New Congress will start January 3, 2011 House of Representatives allocation (435 total representatives, each state has a different number based on the population of that state

Income Tax Deductions

1758 words - 8 pages Britain. Nevertheless, the Declaration of Independence was a significant milestone in the American Revolution. The Declaration of Independence displayed two of the characteristics of revolution; ideology and leadership. Foundational to the Declaration were two philosophical themes- individual rights and the right of revolution- derived from the English philosopher John Locke. Locke advocated that an individual’s rights rose

Innate and Learned Behaviour

603 words - 3 pages inherit the qualities that determine what kind of person we will become. They believe that our behaviour is due to our genes. In contrast Rousseau (1712-1778) believed that infants are born with a conscience and a sense of fairness and that human nature is good until it is corrupted by society. Locke and Paiget believe children are innately curious and exploratory, innate behaviour is known from birth, e.g. breathing and blinking, a baby can and

Transition to the Modern Society and Socialism’s Role in It

1949 words - 8 pages transition, which lay the ideological foundation of the modern society. It can be safely said that modern societies were born in these humanistic and political ideas, ideas like those found in the great works of several humanistic writers and philosophers, Thomas Hobbes and John Locke. Thomas Hobbes is often called the forefather of social contract theory which established the foundation for most of western political theory. He popularized the ideas

Related Papers

Locke And The Legitimacy Of The State: Right Vs. Good

728 words - 3 pages Locke and the Legitimacy of the State: Right vs. Good John Locke’s conception of the “legitimate state” is surrounded by much controversy and debate over whether he emphasizes the right over the good or the good over the right. In the midst of such a profound and intriguing question, Locke’s Letter Concerning Toleration, provides strong evidence that it is ineffective to have a legitimate state “prioritize” the right over the

Hobbes V. Locke Essay

1836 words - 8 pages  to be at war with everyone. By  competing in each person’s own self interest, which led to life being poor, solitary, and brutish  until the formation of government. In the state of nature, this enables others to be able to come  and take that away from you. This is the intersection where Thomas Hobbes and another great  philosopher, John Locke, agree. They both believe that a source of social contract is necessary in  order to get along in

John Locke Essay

2529 words - 11 pages momentous commodity such as the American constitution. Many of Locke’s ideas were used in the creation of the United States Constitution. John Locke was a British philosopher and medical researcher. Locke was born to Agnes Keene and John Locke on August 29, 1632, in Somerset, England. His father was a Puritan lawyer, who served as a Captain during the English civil war. Locke’s schooling began at Westminster School in 1647. He earned the title of

Comparison And Contrast Between Two Political Thinkers: Thomas Hobbes And John Locke

3788 words - 16 pages abundant provider of good, where nothing will be scarce, Locke argues that equality will not bring war to people because there is a law that will not allow this to become a fight over those things two men desire in common, a Law of Nature. Unlike Hobbes State of Nature, Locke’s has a common law for all men, which states “being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his Life, Health, Liberty or Possession,” (John Locke: Second