How did the Declaration of Independence and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and CitizenreflectonJohn Locke's ideas about the purposeofgovernment?His-2

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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It seems to me that both documents bring to light the dominant theme of popular sovereignty that exists in Locke's work.  Being an Enlightenment thinker, Locke was primarily associated with asserting the rationality of human beings.  In this light, Locke made clear the idea that human beings give voice and authenticity to their political regimes.  Jefferson took this idea in his writing as he makes the case for the Colonists breaking free of the British.  Jefferson's argument in the idea that the British acts and encroachments on colonial freedom have violated the basic level of trust between people and authority pulls from Locke's notion of popular sovereignty.  In the French Declaration, the Divine Right of Kings is rejected for a more Lockian presence of popular sovereignty.  This is seen when the document calls for a dissolution of government that has lost the faith and respect of the people.  The notion of people giving authority to their authority is a notion from Locke and an argument constructed within both documents.

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