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How did John Locke influence the Declaration of Independence?

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Where did this democratic tradition truly begin? ... The single most important influence that shaped the founding of the United States comes from John Locke, a 17th century Englishman who redefined the nature of government. ... This idea deeply influenced Thomas Jefferson as he drafted the Declaration of Independence. read more

John Locke wanted everyone to have the right to life, liberty, andproperty which is used in the Declaration of Independence as theright to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. read more

Well, leaving aside the really difficult problem of ‘influence’ — did Locke’s *Second Treatise* influence Jefferson et al., or were Locke’s ideas commonplace among some intellectuals at the time — the connection of Locke and the Declaration goes further than the two existing answers, which not wrongly focus on natural rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. read more

He paraphrased Locke’s ideas in the Declaration of Independence, changing “life, liberty, and property” to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”Jeffersonunderstood property not as a natural, given to a person from birth, and as a civil right. read more

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How did the ideas of John Locke and Thomas Paine influence ...
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[John] Adams identified himself with the political theories of [James] Harrington, [John] Locke, and [Charles-Louis] Montesquieu, whose ideas of constitutionalism, he believed, were applicable to all peoples everywhere; they were his contribution to what he called "the divine science of politics."
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