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Comparing "of the State of Nature" and the Declaration of Independence

Essay by   •  September 28, 2016  •  Article Review  •  547 Words (3 Pages)  •  889 Views

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Compare and Contrast:

Of the State of Nature and the Declaration of Independance

        Of the State of Nature (Nature), was published as a part of a larger work, entitled “Two Treatises of Government,” by John Locke in 1689. This specific chapter of the second essay discusses a belief of equality that Locke holds dear to a working, civil government: the “state of nature.” Defined as “a state of equality wherein all the power and jurisdiction is reciprocal, no one having more than another,” this idea resonates among the estranged members of a monarchical England and those who long for a more fair system of government with representation and leadership derived from the people.

        Fervent believers in this idea of equality were the men who left England to colonize the Americas and escape the tyrannical rule of the crown. After years of self-governing across the Atlantic ocean and having had a taste of the freedom that would lie in a separate country, the forefathers of the United States created and endorsed a petition for the right to become a new nation and sever ties with the land from which they came; the Declaration of Independance was born.

”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 Declaration of Independance

                This statement best embodies the feeling of general equality that the writers of the Declaration felt was endowed into every man at birth, the same equality identified by Locke, who undoubtedly influenced these men.

        Also described in Nature is a system of self government that is derived from the people:

“I easily grant, that civil government is the proper remedy for the inconveniences of the state of nature” -The State of Nature

        Locke argues that the best way to resolve conflict and put into place new legislation is through the process of government led by the people who are being governed. This can be seen as one of the most important issues discussed in the Declaration:

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