During the late 1600’s and the start of the 1700’s a European intellectual movement known as the Enlightenment was an era when ideas began revolving around reason, God, nature, and humanity. Although it may seem as a thing of the past a philosopher in particular by the name of John Locke had believed in ideas which heavily impact today’s government and also helped create a foundation to build off of along with the other Enlightenment thinkers. The idea of natural rights had existed long before John Locke as a way of showing that there were certain moral truths that applied to everyone, no matter where they had lived or opinions they might have had. Locke brought up this idea in government so he had to take laws of nature which operated and was practical which had created a key part of most forms of government in which everyone should be guaranteed life, liberty, and property or more recently pursuit of happiness. In today’s US government they make sure to keep to this promise to everyone and never forget to keep it in mind when making changes or additions to any law.Locke also believed that the government should be spread or separated into different branches in the Two Treatises of Government where he devises a plan to break the government up while keeping their power although preventing them from overpowering any other branch or taking over the country completely. The three branches are still practiced such as the legislative, which make laws for political entity, the executive which executes and enforces the laws and finally the judicial branch which interprets and carries out the laws.
Each branch is required to respect each other and follow natural law and in case of any other violating the law each can punish one another in order to protect the rights of citizens.Toleration is a huge contribution in today’s world. In Locke’s Letter Concerning Toleration the arguments are intended to establish religious and political standards that governments should follow. In his claims he proposes that the government should not force people to a “true religion” and that religions should be considered voluntary organizations. No one should use their power over their own members or those outside their group. He would frequently point out those who are quick to find wrong in small differences in religion and are unconcerned with the moral sins that are a much larger threat.To sum it up, the enlightenment period was such an influential moment in time that sets up a system in government that is still used to this day.
They built a foundation for future generations which created a working society that we can have opportunity to thrive.