John Locke: Second Treatise on Civil Government

(1690)

Audience

Locke's intended audience for the Two Treatises of Government has been a matter of considerable scholarly debate. The orthodox view is that his primary audience was the aristocracy of England. The aristocracy had been the motive force behind the Glorious Revolution, and the views expressed in the Second Treatise seem to provide a justification for that revolution. However, the aristocracy never really accepted Locke's views, regarding them as too radical. Other scholars have argued that Locke's primary audience was the landed gentry, yet this class also regarded Locke as...

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John Locke (Library of Congress)

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