What type of government did John Locke believe in?


Quick Answer

John Locke was a reluctant democrat who believed in a direct form of democracy that existed only to protect its people and to allow them to have liberty and property. Locke believed that the moment a government tampered with a person's individual rights, that government would be rebelled against and would not be servings its people.

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Full Answer

Locke was one of the inspirations for the libertarian beliefs in the American Revolution. Locke was born in 1632 and studied at Oxford University. In 1690, he wrote his first work, "Two Treatises of Government." In it he set forth two important philosophical points.

The first philosophical point was that natural rights were just that, "natural," and could not be taken away from people by the state. These rights were intrinsic and belonged to everyone. In fact, Locke believed that it was these natural rights that would help to balance the government and keep the powerful leaders in check. This theory was so powerful and eloquently written that Thomas Jefferson would use it when he wrote the Declaration of Independence many years later.

The second philosophical point Locke made was that he believed in a representative government that would have elected officials in some capacity. However, Locke was not sure about allowing everyday people to be a part of governmental decisions and wanted the elected officials to only be men who had a business connection and property.

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