After examining Locke's notion of the social contract, how does it relate to the "divine right" theory of kingship and these revolutions?

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I assume that when you say “these revolutions,” you are referring to the French and American Revolutions.  If so, Locke’s ideas led very directly to these revolutions.  Locke completely rejected the idea of the divine right of kings and, in doing so, helped to bring about the revolutions.

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I assume that when you say “these revolutions,” you are referring to the French and American Revolutions.  If so, Locke’s ideas led very directly to these revolutions.  Locke completely rejected the idea of the divine right of kings and, in doing so, helped to bring about the revolutions.

The divine right of kings held that kings got their power directly from God.  Because God gave them their power, they were answerable only to him.  This meant that they had no responsibility to pay any attention to what their subjects wanted.  They were not responsible to any human beings.

Locke completely disagreed with this idea.  To Locke, the only purpose of government was to protect the natural rights that all human beings have.  He argued that people only create governments for this purpose.  Further, he argued that governments were only legitimate if they got their power from the consent of the people whom they governed.  In other words, where the divine right of kings said that kings got their power from God, Locke said that governments only get their power from the citizens of their countries.

The revolutionaries in France and the American colonies used Locke’s ideas to justify their rebellions.  They wanted to have governments that were based on their own consent.  Therefore, they rebelled against the monarchical systems that had not been based on that consent.

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