Locke: Political Writings
John Locke's Second Treatise of Government (c. 1681) is perhaps the key founding liberal text. A Letter Concerning Toleration, written in 1685 (a year when a Catholic monarch came to the throne of England and Louis XVI unleashed a reign of terror against Protestants in France), is a classic defense of religious freedom. Yet many of Locke's other writings--not least the Constitutions of Carolina, which he helped draft--are almost defiantly anti-liberal in outlook.
This comprehensive collection brings together the main published works (excluding polemical attacks on other people's views) with the most important surviving evidence from among Locke’s papers relating to his political philosophy. David Wootton's wide-ranging and scholarly Introduction sets the writings in the context of their time, examines Locke's developing ideas and unorthodox Christianity, and analyzes his main arguments. The result is the first fully rounded picture of Locke’s political thought in his own words.
Suggestions for Further Reading
A Note on the Texts
Letter to SH Henry Stubbe midSeptember? 1659
Letter to Tom 20 October 1659
From Question Whether the civil magistrate may lawfully impose and determine the use of indifferent things in reference to religious worship
Preface to the Reader from the First Tract on Government
The Idea We Have of God Journal 1 August 1680
Inspiration Journal 3 April 1681
Virtus 1681 from the 1661 Commonplace Book
From The First Treatis of Government c 1681
Two Sorts of Knowledge Journal 26 June 1681
The Second Treatise of Government An Essay Concerning the True Original Extent and End of Civil Government c 1681
Letter to Edward Clarke 27 January6 February 1685
A Letter Concerning Toleration 1685
Question Can the civil magistrate specify indifferent things to be included within the order of divine worship?
Question Is each mans private interest the foundation of the law of nature?
Letter to the Hon Robert Boyle 1222 December 166
An Essay Concerning Toleration 1667
The Fundamental Consitutions of Carolina 1669
Philanthropy or The Christian Philosophers 1675
Obligation of Penal Laws Journal 25 February 1676
Law Journal 21 April 1678
Letter to Edward Clarkc 29 January8 February 1689
Preface to Two Treatises of Government 1689
Labour 1693 from the 1661 Commonplace Book
Venditio 1695 from the 1661 Commonplace Book
Draft of a Representation Containing a Scheme of Methods for the Employment of the Poor