Two Treatises of Government (1689) was one of Locke's most influential works on social contract theory. He defended the claim that men are by nature free and equal, not subject to monarch rule. People have rights, such as the right to life, liberty, and property, inspiring America's revolutionaries. We feature his Second Treatise on Government, Book II, in which he addresses the states of civil government, nature, war, slavery, property, political societies, and tyranny. Visit American History for others
Return to the John Locke library.