Called "the Father of Classical Liberalism," John Locke, was born on August 29, 1632 in Warington, England. One of the most influential thinkers of th 17th century, he attended Westminister School and later Christ Church, University of Oxford, where he studied classics and medicine. When England's King James II was overthrown in 1689, Locke published "An Essay Concerning Human Understanding ," arguing against innate ideas and suggesting instead that man is born a tabula rasa, a blank slate, who learns through experience. In 1690, Locke published his most significant political work, "The Two Treaties of Government," arguing that the role of the state is to protect the natural rights of its citizens based on the notion of a social contract. If a ruler fails to fulfill his contract with his citizens, Locke argued that the citizens have the right to overthrow their leader and appoint a new one. Locke’s writings have had a powerful impact on the thinkers that have come since, including Voltaire and the Founding Fathers of the United States, Jefferson, Madison, and Hamilton.
"New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common."
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