Second Treatise of Government | Study Guide

John Locke

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Second Treatise of Government | Glossary


civil society: political unit that is formed by the consent of the people and regulated by a government that has the people's consent

commonwealth: civil society or community, which people join together to form for their own safety and security

consent: mutual agreement to surrender some freedoms to a common government voluntarily

dissolution of government: dismantlement of government in a commonwealth or civil society

executive power: in a commonwealth, the power of enforcing the laws

federative power: in a commonwealth, the power to manage external affairs

legislative power: in a commonwealth, the power to enact laws

majority rule: in a commonwealth, the decision-making power of the people

paternal power: the authority exercised by a father over his family and household

political power: the right to make laws and impose penalties for the regulation and preservation of property

prerogative: the power to act for the public good according to discretion

property: possessions owned by an individual by virtue of his labor or industry

state of nature: the state of existence preceding the advent of civil society, in which all men were born free and equal

tyranny: the exercise of power that ranges beyond right

usurpation: the illegitimate seizure of power that rightfully belongs to someone else

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