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Religion, Private Property, And Politics

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Taylor O’Sullivan
Religion, private property, and politics combined to benefit the common good

Religion and private property are thought to be exceedingly influential in regards to politics, and many political theorists would agree with this statement. John Locke, an imperative leader in the Enlightenment movement in Europe, thoroughly expresses the relationship between government, religion, and private property in his writing, The Two Treatises of Government. Locke examines his belief that all humans are free and equal by nature, and they have the the right to life, liberty, and private property. Locke believes that man has the duty to preserve, of preservation, and means of preservation (private property) to thank God for putting us on
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Before examining the relationship between private property, religion, and politics, it is imperative to recognize the historical context as to what was happening at the time when John Locke wrote The Two Treatises of Government. Locke began to articulate his views, particularly in The Two Treatise of Government, during the Glorious Revolution in late 17th century England. This revolution involved the removal of James II, a Stuart, from England due to his absolutist and catholic tendencies, because the majority of English people were Anglican at the time. Locke, along with many other people, felt threatened when James II began to ‘pack’ parliament with his friends and supporters. This was a huge problem, because parliament is in charge with representing the people, protecting their rights as English citizens, which includes freedom of speech and property. Eventually, James II left England for France in exile, and King William and Queen Mary became the new leaders. They signed the English Bill of Rights to protect certain civil liberties, and in terms of property, the Bill of Rights states that taxes cannot be levied without consent from Parliament. Taxes can be a direct threat to someone’s property; if an individual cannot afford to pay their taxes, they will lose their property. In sum, John Locke writes The Two Treatises of Government the exact same year as the Glorious Revolution, to express why James II was
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