John Locke's Influence on Government

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John Locke was born in Wrington, a village in Somerset, on August 29, 1632. He lived to become the most influential people in England, and perhaps one of the most influential people in the seventeenth century. His mother died while he was still an infant, and his father was a "Country lawyer@ and a small land owner who served as a captain of horse in the Parliamentary Army during the Civil War. Locke=s father later died in 1961.

John Locke was an educated man going to Westminster school in 1646, to Christ Church College, Oxford, in 1652. Although Locke would rather have learned philosophy from Descartes instead of Aristotle, he still satisfied authorities. John was elected to a senior studentship in 1659, and in the next three to four years he took part in the tutorial work of the college. He declined an offer of preferment for a clerical position in 1666, and was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1668.


was unable to obtain the degree of medicine and did not graduate as bachelor of medicine until 1674.

Locke=s knowledge of medicine led to the acquaintance Lord Ashley in 1666. Lord Ashley, who in 1672 became the first Earl of Shaftesbury, was referred to Locke with a medical complaint. Locke then successfully operated and cleaned out Aan abscess in his chest@, which led to an immediate effect on Locke=s career. Locke became a member of Shaftesbury=s household and assisted him in public business, commercial and political, and followed him into the government service. Shaftesbury was made Lord Chancellor in 1672 and Locke became his secretary for presentations to benefits, and was later made secretary to the board of trade. Locke=s political life ended temporarily in 1675 with the fall of his chief.

When John was...