U. S. Government: Democracy In Action

Chapter 1: People and Government

Student Web Activity

In this chapter you learned about the principles, formation, and types of government. The principles that comprise the foundation of our government today are rooted in the philosophies of great thinkers of the past. The ideas of one of these philosophers, John Locke, are particularly evident in the government established by the Founders of the United States. You can learn more about John Locke at this Web site.

Destination Title: Philosophy Pages

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Start at the Philosophy Pages Web site.

  • Click on History in the menu at the top of the screen.
  • Under the heading "Early Modern Philosophy," find Locke's name and click on Government.
  • Scroll down the page, taking notes as you read.

After you have read through the information, answer the following questions.

Did Locke believe that unanimous consent is necessary in the formation of a government?
What evidence do you see regarding Locke's influence on the structure of the United States government?
Describe Locke's beliefs about revolution.
Thomas Hobbes was one of the first thinkers to consider the "social contract theory" later studied by Locke. How do these two men differ regarding the social contract?
Locke's writings were just one source that influenced the establishment of our nation's government. Conduct additional research on the Internet or your local library to find out about other writings and thinkers that influenced the formation of American government. On a separate sheet of paper, write a one-page essay summarizing your research. Be sure to cite the sources you use.
US Government: Democracy In Action
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