>Do you have any suggestions for research on comparing John Locke's >political theory to Jefferson's? Need to find some good resources for a >college paper. First, let me say that I envy you. I have been wanting for some time to do a piece on this topic, but have not been able to find time. It is a terrific topic! As to research, I might suggest that the basis of your comparison be contrasting Locke's 2nd Treatise on Government with the outline of Jefferson's political theory as presented on my website, Thomas Jefferson on Politics & Government. That might sound like a bit of hubris on my part, but I don't think you will find a better exposition of Jefferson's political theory *in his own words*. I would advise you beware of some books on the subject, because what you get is more the author's theory about Jefferson, IMO, than you do Jefferson's. Nevertheless, I recently read Richard Matthews's "The Radical Politics of Thomas Jefferson," and found it really quite good, though it lacks some of the dynamism that comes through, IMO, from Jefferson's words alone, and it does not have the breadth that my website has. I read Koch's "Philosophy of Thomas Jefferson" a long time ago, but almost lost my mind with boredom. I have not yet read Garrett Sheldon's "The Political Philosophy of Thomas Jefferson,"and cannot voice an opinion. I deliberately avoided reading books about Jefferson's political philosophy when putting together my own website, because I wanted the focus and organization to come from what Jefferson said, not from what some historian thought he had said. Only more lately have I begun reading these other viewpoints. David Mayer's "The Constitutional Thought of TJ" is pretty good, and somewhat on your topic, though TJ's political theory goes into areas that the Constitution never approaches. I differ with Dr. Mayer on certain minor points of emphasis, but we have more fundamental agreement than disagreement. I suggest limiting the comparison to Locke's 2nd Treatise, because although there are other works by Locke that might be relevant, you don't want to turn the thing into a doctoral disseratation, which, by the way, it could easily become. There is a book by Huyler on "Locke in America" that I read, but I did not feel that it came to grips with the fundamental differences that I think exists. Huyler is more of a champion of Locke, and seemed to be trying to demonstrate that Locke had significant influence. One can have significant influence, but yet the people influenced can go far beyond the position outlined by the person doing the influencing. There is one area of focus that I would urge upon you that I firmly believe in, but I'd bet you will find little if any support from any other person in this area. And that is that the political theory of Locke was a PRIMITIVE (!) or rudimentary form which Jefferson (and the other founding fathers, also) built on, but elevated to a high level of practicality and to a new conception of popular government. Jefferson's departure from Locke was announced especially in the Declaration of Independence, where TJ substituted "pursuit of happiness" for Locke's "property." The former dramatically expands the whole concept (how few seem to recognize this!) of self-government. TJ also outlined a concept of popular control in the Declaration that is another advancement on Locke. There are several other areas in which Jefferson goes far beyond Locke's primitive theory. Locke's theory, after all, was agreeable to a monarchial government, whereas Jefferson's was not. I have written an essay that touches upon much of the difference between TJ and Locke. It is called "Individual Rights & Popular Sovereignty," and is located at: http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/7970/jefpco58.htm I believe that these differences between TJ and Locke can be very tricky. Even something like the difference between Property and Pursuit of Happiness can, off-hand, seem trivial and inconsequential. But I firmly believe these differences are like small changes at the short end of Archimedes' Lever. Even the smallest of differences can move the whole universe to a new level. But by forcusing on the short end, these enormous resulting differences can easily be overlooked. Good luck to you on your paper. If I can be of any further assistance, don't hesitate to ask. If you produce a copy of your paper that you can send me as an attachment to an email, I would appreciate receiving it very much. Please convert it to Microsoft Write (*.wri) format so I can be sure to be able to read it. If you consider (whether you agree or disagree) the approach I am recommending, I might ask your permission to publish it on my website -- with full acknnowledgement and credit, of course.
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