British Settlement On The Traditional Territories Of Native Americans

1278 words - 6 pages

British Settlement on the Traditional Territories of Native Americans Background John Locke (1632-1704) was an English empiricist philosopher, whose ideas have had a profound impact on America. To properly comprehend the answer to question i.e. why can the British settle on the traditional territories of Native Americans without asking their consent, the most famous phrase from the Declaration of Independence, will be quoted: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” The concept, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, the author introduces and discusses in treatise with strange logic that incidentally provides the answer to question under focus. Logic Offered by Locke of British Encroachments In the beginning, when the entire world was America, they had possessed extra land, more than their needs; the rest of the world had the right to utilize the piece of land that was being wasted by the real owners. The author brings in the concept of money and gives the back ground before linking it with the title of property. “But, since gold and silver, being little useful to the life of man, in proportion to food, raiment, and carriage, has its value only from the consent of men- whereof labor yet makes in great part the measure- it is plain that the consent of men have agreed to a disproportionate and unequal possession of the earth- I mean out of the bounds of society and compact;” (Sec 50) The developing concept of money thus made it very easy to conceive that how labor could at first begin a label of property in the ordinary things of Nature, and how the spending it upon our uses bordered it; so that there could then be no cause of getting at each other's throats about title, nor any uncertainty about the expansiveness of possession it gave. “Right and convenience went together. For as a man had a right to all he could employ his labor upon, so he had no temptation to labor for more than he could make use of.” (Sec, 51) This logic of the author then left no scope for disagreement about the title, or for encroachment on the right of others. American thus did not have any right to “carve himself too much, or take more than they needed.” According to author British may have a right to utilize that part of the land that had been left underutilized, say an acre of land owned by an American bore twenty bushels of wheat in their claimed territory, while an another piece of land of similar size in America, which, with the same husbandry, would apparently be alike, but factually “the benefit mankind receives from one in a year is worth five pounds, and the other possibly not worth a penny; if all the profit an Indian received from it were to be valued and sold here, at least I may truly say, not one thousandth. It is labor,...

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