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John Locke

            When looking at the Declaration of Independence and the ideas in it you can clearly see how much John Locke influenced Thomas Jefferson's work. Locke's philosophy on government has helped shape what we stand for today.
             In the first paragraphs of both works you see similarities about the laws of Nature. The Declaration states that," to assume among the Powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them." In Locke's Second Treaties, Of Civil Government he states that, ".what state all men are naturally in, and that is a state of perfect freedom to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions and persons as they think fit within the bounds of the Law of Nature.".
             Both John Locke and Thomas Jefferson believed in equality. They wanted to establish a government that met the needs and wants of each individual. This is evident in the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence when Thomas Jefferson states his beliefs on the equality of man and the natural rights we should all have. He states that, "it is self evident that all men are created equal," and that each man has certain natural rights to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." He goes on to say that the role of the government, after being instituted my man, is to support and secure these rights for all the citizens. In Locke work he states that all men should have, "life, liberty and property." Locke statement would eventually become with Jefferson, "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." .
             The Declaration stated that, "To secure these rights (Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness), Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its power in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

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