Similarities between John Locke’s and Thomas Paine’s Works

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John Locke and Thomas Paine were authors who used their works to express their thoughts on the governments that they lived in. Both of the authors believe that true, real political power comes from society. The government it self obtains its own power from the power that their society makes. Both authors in other words also state that all people are equal to each other. They also believe that everyone in society should have the right to defend their property as well as their liberty.

Most people had the mindset that God makes all people naturally subject to the monarchy but Locke had opposite beliefs. In John Locke’s Second Treatise on Civil Government, he believes that a government existed to promote good public morals, and to be a protection to the life, liberty and property of its people. What he means by this is that the people who run government should be elected by society itself, mainly like a democracy. “A state of perfect freedom to order their actions,and dispose of their possessions and persons as they think fit”(Locke 1).

This statement goes hand in hand with the fact that he also states that a society should have the right to vote on new government officials if the current ones aren’t doing their duties sufficiently. In Locke’s opinion, government come from the ideas of social contracts. He thinks that his version of government allows society to overthrow a leader with too much power in a nonviolent way. In the end, John Locke wants to persuade us to believe that if a government has to much power and abuses that power, Locke wants society to overthrow that leader.

In Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, he focused on the ideas of conservatism throughout his articles. Paine generally talked about society and how it was necessary for society to take care of itself through its own duties. In conservatism society enjoys having some form of structure in their policies. Also in conservatism, they have a known fear of government. “Government even in its best state is but a necessary evil”.(Paine 1). Conservatism iself falls close to anarchism because they both like to have a society in which there is no government that rules and a society with its own structure.

They would rather make their own rules and regulations and that is only because they fear and or do not like the concept of government. In Paine’s opinion, even though he focused on conservatism, he actually believed that it was negative. When it comes to monarchistic type of society, conservationists don’t like that either, just like they don’t like governments. In the end, Paine believes that real political power comes from a society ruling themselves rather then having a government at all.

In the end of both of these authors works, it comes down to their opinions on how government gets its power from the society that it governs. In Locke’s perspective, if government officials seem unfit, they can be overthrown by society. Then in Paine’s perspective he believes that a society would rather make its own rules and regulations. He believes this because in conservatism, government having power is feared. Even though both authors have different perspectives, they both share the same opinion that government is powered by society itself.


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Similarities between John Locke’s and Thomas Paine’s Works. (2021, Apr 18). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/similarities-between-john-lockes-and-thomas-paines-works/



How are Locke beliefs and the Declaration of Independence similar?
John Locke's beliefs and the Declaration of Independence share the idea that individuals have natural rights that cannot be taken away by government. Additionally, both emphasize the importance of government being based on the consent of the governed.
What did John Locke and Thomas Jefferson have in common?
John Locke and Thomas Jefferson both believed in natural rights and the social contract.
What did Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine have in common?
Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine were both American Founding Fathers.
What ideas did Thomas Paine promote in common?
To Emerson, transcendentalism was a way to see God in nature and to connect with the world around him. For Thoreau, it was a way to live a simple life in nature and to be in harmony with the world.
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