Chapter 1: People and Government
In this chapter students learned about the principles, formation,
and types of government. The principles that comprise the
foundation of our government today are rooted in the philosophies
of great thinkers of the past. In this lesson students will
study the ideas of one of these philosophers, John Locke,
that are particularly evident in the government established
by the Founders of the United States.
Students will visit a philosophy Web site to examine the ideas
and writings of John Locke. They will then answer four questions
about what they have read and write an essay describing other
writings and thinkers who influenced the principles of American
- Students will be able to recognize the influence of Locke
on principles of American government.
- Students will be able to describe other writings and thinkers
that influenced American government.
Student Web Activity Answers
- Yes; Locke believed that each and every person must assent
in the original agreement to form a government. However,
since it would be extremely difficult to get people to agree
unanimously to particular laws, these would be determined
by the will of the majority.
- Locke said that established laws should be applied equally
to all, a belief also present in our government. He also
described different branches of government (executive, legislative,
federative) which is another principle our country adopted.
- Locke believed that the possibility of revolution was
a permanent feature of any properly formed civil society.
Government depended on the consent of those who are governed,
and if a government abused its power, the people could withdraw
their consent and revolt.
- One difference is that Locke regarded the "contract" as
revokable; people had the right to withdraw their consent
to be governed. Hobbes believed that people did not have
the right to break the contract.
- Students' essays will vary.
Go to Student Web Activity