The Contributions of Nicolo Machiavelli and John Locke to Political Thought

1763 WordsJul 9, 20188 Pages
The Contributions of Nicolo Machiavelli and John Locke to Political Thought In political thought, there have been many people that have progressed political theory. Nicolo Machiavelli and John Locke are two of those famous individuals. The research here will be focused on them. Each Machiavelli and John Locke support a different political theory. At first, the background and relevant contexts will be discussed. Each person has written something that has influenced modern political thought. Nicolo Machiavelli’s The Prince and John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government. Liberalism contained in Locke’s work will be explored in addition to the realism contained in The Prince. These two writings were chosen…show more content…
Machiavelli stated that if the actions of the state it is justifiable if it benefits the state’s self-interest or survival (Machiavelli, 1532). Machiavelli writings on the Prince dealt with political reality, and Machiavelli stressed living in political realities as opposed to idealism . Machiavelli’s views have influenced what is called classical realism and even the political landscape of the late 1800s (Thayer, 1892). The ideology presented in The Prince still continues to influence modern political thought, especially realism. Machiavelli’s ideology is an opponent to Locke’s Second Treatise in which some principles of liberalism are found. John Locke was from England, and is one of the most famous enlightened thinkers from the 17th century. John Locke in addition to being a famous philosopher was also an accomplished physician. He was born in 1632 and died 1702. Locke advocated for the separation of church and state, being one of the first advocates of secularism (Milton, 2008). His work, The Second Treatise of Civil Government, even influenced the founders of the United States almost a century later, and even includes direct influence in the drafting of The Declaration of Independence (Milton, 2008). In his most famous work, Locke also advocates for the right to personal private property. One of the main principles brought forth in his work is that rights of property regarding the individual come before the right of the government. He

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