Burke And Locke On Revolution Essay

4003 words - 16 pages

I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. - Thomas JeffersonPolitical rebellion takes place when the people of a country feel it is essential that a change in government is made. Different nations have different ideas about the responsibilities of government, and as a result there are many possible reasons for political rebellion. John Locke, an English medical doctor and philosopher who lived until 1704, published his liberal theories about government, property, and the rights of man, in his book Second Treatise of Government. Edmund Burke, a writer with a legal background who spent his life involved in English politics, published his opinions about revolution in 1790 in his book Reflections on the Revolution in France. Both Locke and Burke support political rebellion, but Locke’s belief that politics are based upon abstract natural rights drives his support for the complete dissolution of government in the event of rebellion, while Burke’s belief that rights and morals are derived from the conventions of society makes his support for rebellion more reserved and conditional. This comparison is significant to any individuals considering revolution as a means of changing government. The outcomes of rebellion can depend on the underlying beliefs driving it, and both writers’ positions are useful to establish the underlying reasons for revolution, and some of the risks involved depending on the extent of the change.Locke believes that before we form civil society by consenting to establish government, we live in a State of Nature. He describes this pre-political state as,“...a state of perfect freedom to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions and persons, as they think fit, within the bounds of the law of nature, without asking leave, or depending on the will of any other man.” (Locke, 1980, p.81)The State of Nature is ruled essentially by human nature. Liberty, equality, self preservation, reason, and property are the most prominent principles that Locke feels are innate to humans. Locke explains how nature intended for all men to be equal,“...creatures of the same species and rank, promiscuously born to all the same advantages of nature, and the use of the same facilities should be equal amongst another...” (Locke, 1980, p.8)Locke comes to the conclusion that humans are self preserving in the State of Nature, through his observations that we are attracted to pleasure and have aversions to pain. He believes that God gives us these attractions and aversions that preserve us, because we are essentially all the property of God. This limits the “perfect freedom” present in the State of Nature. Since we belong to God, we do not have the liberty to destroy ourselves. Although we are not all born with property (except through inheritance which Locke fully supports) the ability to acquire property is...


Locke and Publius: Comparing Their Views on Civil Government

1501 words - 6 pages Throughout history there have been significant debates, theories and agendas set forward as to what the best form of government is. Many of those individuals and groups who have written on the topic have their critics because they offer points that are highly controversial in theory and problematic when put into practice. John Locke and Publius, which is the collective name for Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay, both published

Natural Law Theory: with a focus on the views of Cicero and Locke.

1475 words - 6 pages manifest declaration of his Will set one above another, and confer on him by an evident and clear appointment an undoubted right to dominion and sovereingty" (Second Treatise, II.4). although Cicero and Locke share the same view of equality, their views of man's intuition differed. Cicero believed that "primitive man" gracius accepted the laws of the "highest power". Locke maintained that man's intuition endowed a sense of freedom to every mind. This

Analysis of the industrial revolution with comparisons of various "fathers" of the modern industrial machine such as: John Locke, Karl Marx and Robert Owens.

2707 words - 11 pages influential critics of the industrial revolution and its effects on the human lives and the family life. He is also the pioneer and essentially the creator of the modern communist thoughts. Some people had different thoughts about society as well as the economy of the industrial revolution. Robert Owen believed that the industrial revolution would induce a cultural revolution as well. His belief was that if you treated your employees well, compensated

This is a essay on he enlightment thinkers. Focusing on Locke and Rousseau. This was my term paper for my history Of Civilizations class.

1527 words - 6 pages and poor). Jefferson, like Locke, also believes the power to govern derives from the consent of the people.In "The Second Treatise On Government", Locke gave his view on the people's right o rebellion. According to Locke, revolution happens, not due to great mistakes or slips of government, but if a long train of abuses occurs and it is obvious no change is happening, the people then should rise up and put the rule into new hands. Jefferson used

The Cuban Revolution and Its Impact on Latin America

1410 words - 6 pages THE CUBAN REVOLUTION AND ITS IMPACT ON LATIN AMERICA"Analyse the impact of the Cuban Revolution on both Cuban society and the wider Latin American world"The Cuban Revolution of 1959 has profoundly shaken the economic, social and political foundations of Cuba itself, however its impact on Latin America was not as predominant. The inauguration of Fidel Castro over Fulgencio Batista was the beginning of a communist regime in Cuba, which has now

The Quiet Revolution and its Negative Impact on Quebec

2089 words - 8 pages In Canadian history, nationalism and sovereignty tend to be common themes prevalent since Confederation. A well-known example of this in Quebec was during the Quiet Revolution which strengthened the need for change through Premier Lesage’s reforms and in turn, developed a strong sense of nationalism in Quebec. In contrast to beliefs that the rapid modernization of the Quiet Revolution had a positive impact on Quebec, it rather had a negative

Industrial Revolution and Its Impact on the Society

999 words - 4 pages Industrial Revolution and Its Impact on the Society Change whether it be positive or negative is unavoidable. Change is the whole reason the Earth is a reality in the first place. If we look at the creation of the world both from a biblical sense, god wanted to create something new, thus we have all of the living creatures on this planet. If we look at the same example from the big bang and evolutional theory we have come to the same

The Islamic Revolution and its Impac on Marji’s Family

2515 words - 10 pages The Pahlavi dynasty caused Marji’s family and other Iranian citizens to become dysphonic. The dynasty mismanaged Iranian money and was manipulated by Western nations. Enmity grew towards the monarchy and ultimately the Iranian people wanted a revolution. Marji’s family had strong animosity toward the Shah. Many of Marji’s family members as well as others fought against the Shah. But the Islamic Revolution took a turn that many were not

The Impact of the Scientific Revolution on Society and Religion

1010 words - 4 pages observations strongly contradicting religious thought at the time, which was dependent on the Aristotelian-Ptolemy theory. However, astronomers like Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, and Newton accepted the heliocentric theory. Astronomical findings of the Scientific Revolution disproved the fact that humans were the center of everything, ultimately causing people to question theology’s role in science and sparking the idea that people were capable of reasoning

Bolshevism And Its Effect On The Russian Revolution

1679 words - 7 pages Bolshevism And It's Effect on the Russian Revolution In the early nineteen hundreds, a very small minority group, consisting of around 33,000 members, formed the Bolshevik party. They consisted mainly of the intelligencia, or the middle class. (They would later become against the Mensheviks, who had the support of the lower class, until history changed it all). This party, (Bolsheviks), believed in a Marxist Revolution, without each step

The French Revolution and the Attack on the Privilege

1523 words - 6 pages , suitable political conditions had first to be created in France. The bourgeoisie could become dominant only if the socalled "Estates General" was replaced by a national assembly based on a constitution. Hence the political unification of the nation was the first demand of the beginning revolution looking toward the dissolution of the Estates. The third estate felt itself ready, and Laclos declared in the Deliberations, to which the Duke of Orleans had

Similar Essays

John Locke And The American Revolution And Glorious Revolution

2608 words - 10 pages people and the social contract – even noting that it forms a fundamental law of society, which even a king isn’t allowed to break without consequences. The American Revolution of the late 18th century was heavily influenced by the writings of Locke. When America was ruled as a colony by the British Empire, it was a time of sorrow for many Americans; the British abused their positions of power and impeded on the technically non-existent rights

Edmund Burke And Jean Jacques Rousseau Concerning The Justification Of The French Revolution

651 words - 3 pages Edmund Burke, who is often regarded as a spokesman for modern conservatism, believed that human rights were based on tradition and could only be inherited. Burke strongly opposed the French Revolution, which in his view, attempted to break from the traditions of France and destroy their contemporary society. On the other hand, Jean-Jacque Rousseau believed that general will would always be correct and that it would unshackle humans from their

Locke And Hume On Inequalities Of Distribution

1206 words - 5 pages would not leave enough and as good for others, this would be a problem that arises. I once heard that there was enough food and supplies so that everyone on earth had enough, and as good for others, and yet so many people are in poverty. Locke and Hume argue that inequalities are always bad, and that it promotes industry and the development of natural abilities. While I tend to agree that industry and the developments of natural talents are not a

John Locke And Jean Jacques Rousseau On Equality And Democracy

1567 words - 6 pages Fighting for democracy in an age of monarchies in Europe, John Locke was a revolutionary thinker whose belief in human reason and self-rule inspired many intellectuals centuries after his death. Advocating the "general will," or actions and decisions for the good of the community rather than one's self, the insight of Jean-Jacques Rousseau is found in almost every hint of modern philosophy. Though in common they share theories on the state of