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The 18th Century - Second Treatise of Civil Government - John Locke

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 Estudios Culturales en Lengua Inglesa II

        1. The 18th Century.

  • John Locke. Second Treatise of Civil Government. (1690)
  • Alexander Pope. Windsor Forest. (1736)
  • Daniel Defoe. Robinson Crusoe. (1719)
  • The American Declaration of Independence. (04, July, 1776)
  • Mary Wollstonecraft. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. (1792)
  • William Wordsworth. ''Lines Written in Early Spring''. (1798)

        

        2. The Industrial Revolution.

  • Jane Austen. Pride and Prejudice. (1813)
  • Thomas Carlyle. ''Signs of the Times''. (1829)

        

        3. The Frontier Experience.

  • Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur. Letters from an American Farmer. (1793)
  • Chief Tecumseh. Address to General William Henry Harrison. (c.1810)
  • The Seneca Falls Conference. The Declaration of Sentiments. (1848)
  • Henry David Thoreau. The Journal. (1852)

        

        4. The US Civil War and Reconstruction.

  • Harriet Beecher Stowe. Uncle Tom's Cabin. (1852)
  • Abraham Lincoln. The Gettysburg Address. (1863)

        5. Victorian England Empire and Commonwealth.

  • Charles Dickens. Oliver Twist. (1837)
  • Charles Darwin. On the Origin of Species. (1859)
  • Rudyard Kipling. ''The White Man's Burden''. (1899)
  • Wilfred Owen. ''Dulce et decorum est''. (1917-1920)
  • W. B. Yeats. ''September, 1913''.

        6. Naturalism and the growth of the cities.

  • Theodore Dreiser. Sister Carrie. (1900)

        7. Modernism and the Jazz Age.

  • Langston Hughes. ''The Weary Blues''. (1926)
  • John Steinbeck. The Grapes of Wrath. (1939)

        8. From WWII to the New Millennium.

  • Arthur Mille. The Crucible. (1953)
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. ''I have a dream''. (1963)
  • John Millius and Francis Ford Coppola. Apocalypse Now Redux. (1979-2001)
  • Monica Ali. Brick Lane. (2003)

        

        1. The 18th Century.

        Second Treatise of Civil Government. - John Locke

        This fragment belongs to a political treatise which was written by John Locke in 1690 and it         is called 'Second Treatise of Civil Government'. This section belongs to the chapter IX and it         is about the functions of political society and government.

        John Locke was a physician (an example of educated of the 18th century gentlemen). This         work has a didactical purpose and it is almost a political pamphlet.

        During the Enlightenment (or Neoclassical Period) the predominant idea was the triumph of         rationality and science versus the darkness of ignorance and superstition. The ideal was         balance, symmetry, and order in life, government, and art. There are beliefs on universal         truths, feelings, and thoughts, in man’s natural goodness with an optimistic view of mankind         in spite of its limitations and as Locke says we have two major powers or duties, as it will be         explained after.

        There was also the belief in parliamentary monarchy as the best political option. As Locke’s         and Hobbes’ ideas based on the “social contract”, the political leaders are members of the         upper classes because they are innately superior and have access to education, and common         people should not only obey them but replace them if they are not good enough. In the         1690’s there was a quick transformation of British society in many aspects, and one which         should be highlighted is the new philosophical insights which are based on the legacy of         Hobbes and Locke.

        Government is conferred by the consent of the ruled ones, who trust the authority of their         leader and representative. Both parts are subjected to the control of laws designed to this         end. If this trust is abused or power used arbitrarily by the rulers, the ruled ones have the         right and obligation to depose the malfunctioning government. Locke radically opposed the         theory of the divine right of kings, too. The rise of the middle class is also very important         during the 18th century because of the ethics and values of capitalism respectability and         profit: faith in progress, dignity of work, pragmaticism, competition, entrepreneurial         attitude, self-control and method with an ordered lifestyle, education and self-improvement,         and urban lifestyle.

        The rise of the middle class is also very important during the 18th century because of the          ethics and values of capitalism respectability and profit: faith in progress, dignity of work,          pragmaticism, competition, entrepreneurial attitude, self-control and method with an ordered         lifestyle, education and self-improvement, and urban lifestyle.

        John Locke is trying to say in the section 127 that mankind is born with certain rights                 because we are gregarious, political, social creatures. Aristotle considered mankind as “zoon         politikon” and Locke based his ideas on this, adding that we can rearrange some of our         rights to improve our necessities. This meant that is necessary a renounce of each individual         of certain powers – punish the transgression- and giving it to the representative or holder         of the power in society to protect your natural law. He stated that all societies should have         laws to decide what is right or wrong and the three powers (legislative, judicial and         executive) shouldn’t be placed I hands of one and only person; a division of them is needed.         The representative 'ruler' comes in the name of the community, who have chosen him.

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