How did John Locke influence the constitution?

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English philosopher John Locke’s contributions to the principles of social contract theory greatly influenced the Constitution of the United States. Social contract theory, the concept that national and state rights must be protected over certain individual rights, is the foundation of the Constitution and Western government. Locke prioritized the common good over personal interest because he believed it was the only way to ensure that each person was afforded an equal opportunity to life, liberty, and happiness. Individuals could advocate for their interests through the democratic process, but ultimately society was ruled by the majority.

Locke openly rejected England’s monarchy and proposed a democratic, federalist government system where responsibility and authority were divided among one federal and multiple state governments. In his book Second Treatise of Government , he wrote of his belief in “a state . . . of equality wherein all the power and jurisdiction is reciprocal, no...

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