Book cover art for Political Writings by Locke

Second Treatise on Government and Letter on Toleration


Date of Birth
1632 CE
Date of Death
1704 CE
Known For
Second Treatise & Letter on Toleration

In his political philosophy, John Locke advanced many of the fundamental ideas that undergird modern liberal political thought: the rights of individuals, government by consent, and tolerance of diverse points of view. The “Second Treatise,” with its reflections on these rights, the nature of property, and the labor theory of value was a major influence on the founders of the United States as well as later critics of liberal democracy and capitalism. Locke’s “Letter on Toleration” laid the groundwork for religiously diverse democratic societies.