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John Locke was a major political philosopher of the Age of Enlightmentment. He is best known today (at least in the United States) because his thoughts and writings were major influences on the founders of the United States. For example, his ideas are pretty much repeated word for word in the Declaration of Independence -- the part where Jefferson talks about the self-evident truths about government and what it is created for.
Locke was an Englishman who was born in 1632, long before the Revolution that his ideas helped to start. His best known works are probably his Two Treatises on Government. He is one of the major thinkers associated with the idea of government that is based on a social compact.
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