Chapter 1: Theories of Democracy and Types of Government
American Political Values
John Locke was an English Political Philosopher who believed that men were born free (in a state of nature) and possessed inherent, inalienable rights that could not be arbitrarily removed by the government assumed that the rights of man were bestowed not by the monarch, but by their creator (God). Locke believed that government exists to preserve man’s life, liberty (freedom), and property citizens consent to be governed man and government enter into a contract of sorts, each with duties, responsibilities, and obligations. Locke’s ideas were very influential the writing of the Declaration of Independence.
The following video discusses the influence of Thomas Hobbes and John Locke as the basis for social contract theory.
Test Your Knowledge
authoritative document that details the nation’s system of government and (usually) the rights of citizens.
system of government in which single person or small group exercises absolute power
system of government in which citizens vote on laws and select officials directly.
(1632-1704)- English political philosopher, commentator, and thinker. Locke’s The Second Treatise of Government, contains the ideas that were most influential to Jefferson in writing the Declaration of Independence.
Governance according to the preferences of the majority.
system of government whereby a single sovereign (a king or a queen) exercised rule over a given territory with power transfer based upon heredity
system of government (representative democracy) whereby eligible voters (the electorate) choose representatives to carry out their wishes in the government.
system of government by religious leaders, who claim divine guidance
system of government where the state controls all aspects of life
For Further Reading
Please see Chapter 1 References on page 12 of the textbook for primary sources and readings.
The Social Contract by Jean Jacques Rousseau [political philosophy].
Rousseau theorized that no political authority rules by divine right. Everyone in any given society is subjected to the same rule of law. To live in any society means that one agrees, then, to be governed within it.