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Dawn Maples Maples 1

History 151-142938

Nano-Historical research paper

8th October 2017

John Locke- the Supreme Revolutionary Thinker

John Locke who was born on August 29th 1632, and lived until October 28th 1704, grew

up in Wrighton, Somerset, and was an English philosopher and physician who is looked upon, as

one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers. “ His writings influence Voltaire and

Rousseau, but most importantly, the American revolutionaries.” (Tuckness, 2016) According to

The Illustrated Magazine of Art, John Locke’s father was a lawyer who had battled on the

Parliamentarian side during the English civil war in the 1640’s and became captain. Locke was

homeschooled because of his health issues and the Civil War. (Locke suffered from respiratory

ailments, which worsened by his visits to London where the air quality was deficient.

His health took a turn for the worse in 1704 and he became enervated).

One of his earliest works, the Essays on the Law of Nature, stood established in the

course of his teaching obligations. “Locke was regarded by many in his time as an expert on

educational matters.” Connelly expresses that Locke emphasized the importance of teaching

practical knowledge. He recognized that children learn best when they connect with the subject

matter. Locke also prefigured some educational views, by suggesting that children ought to be

allowed some self-direction in their course of study, and should have the ability to follow their
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Interests. This is Tremendous of Locke to preach; as we say to partake in something, you love

rather than to partake in something for the financial gain.

In the 17th century, Locke was among the supreme Revolutionary thinkers in a period of

Revolutionary thought; Locke defended the fact that humans have rights and that people have the

entitlement or freedom to change an unfair government that did not protect the biological rights

of “ life, liberty and property.” In the Letter Concerning Toleration, Locke “ denied that

Coercion should be used to bring people to (what the rule believes is) the true religion and also

denied that churches should have any coercive power over their members.” His works on

religious tolerance paved the way for the separation of church and state.

Locke started out as a student of Oxford, studying Aristotelian scholastic philosophy, and

eventually gained his Bachelor of Arts at Oxford and later became a lecturer. John “ focused on

logic, metaphysics and classics. He was an associate of Robert Hooke, Robert Boyle and other

leading Oxford scientists.” he “distinguished scientist and one of the founders of the Royal

Society, and, under Boyle's direction, took up study of natural science. Finally, in 1668, Locke

became a member of the Royal Society.” Locke engaged in a number of controversies during his

life, including a notable one with Jonas Proast over toleration. Nevertheless, Locke’s most

famous and philosophically controversy was with Edward Stillingfleet, the Bishop of Worcester.

“Stillingfleet, in addition to being a powerful political and theological figure, was an astute and

forceful critic. The two men debated a number of the positions in the Essay in a series of

published letters.”

Locke came to be seen, alongside Isaac Newton, as an appellate of Enlightenment values

and ideals. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy reports, Newtonian science would lay bare
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the workings of nature and lead to important technological advances. Lockean philosophy would

expose the workings of men’s minds and lead to important reforms in law and government.

Voltaire played an Instrumental role in shaping this legacy for Locke and worked hard to

publicize Locke’s views on reason, toleration, and limited government.

Locke also came to be appreciated, as an inspiration for the Deist movement. A Deist is

"One who believes in the existence of a God or Supreme Being but denies revealed religion,

basing his belief on the light of nature and reason." Figures like Anthony Collins and John

Toland were deeply influenced by Locke’s work (Connolly, 2017)”. Locke’s visions for the

future, of not only children and education, but, also his views on how a government, should be

controlled, make him one of my eminent, and all time political hero and philosopher of all time.

John Locke was a brilliant thinker and innovator, Locke challenged the old order and was pro

Enlightenment. Locke pushed towards the right for people to change a government, which no

longer protected the best interest of the English people and pushed towards better education for

children. Locke had such a strong and political powerful guidance. The entire Declaration of

Independence is constructed off John Locke’s original Ideas, thoughts and views, which helped,

aid the American Revolution and helped gain independence.

Connolly, P. (2017). Locke, John | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. [online]
Available at: [Accessed 8 Oct. 2017].

“John Locke.” The Illustrated Magazine of Art, vol. 1, no. 3, 1853, pp. 181–183. JSTOR, JSTOR,

Locke, John. The Conduct of the Understanding. 2017
—. The Conduct of Understanding. Jonathan Bennett. 5th October 2017
—. The Second Treatise of Government and A Letter Concernng Toleration. n.d.

Tuckness, Alex, "Locke's Political Philosophy", The Stanford Encyclopedia of
Philosophy (Spring 2016 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.),
ver their numbers.”