SEVEN

John Locke (1632–1704): Theological Premises and Liberal Limits on Government

John Locke was born in England in 1632. Although the English Civil War (in which Locke’s father had fought on the side of Parliament) was over by the time Locke was a young man, the struggle between the king and Parliament for supremacy was very much alive. After the monarchy was restored in 1660, for some time under the rule of Charles II, things were quiet, but after his death in 1685, when his brother James II, who was a Catholic, came to the throne, the tension became palpable. Even the reign of Charles II, towards its end, was marked by the Exclusion Crisis (1679–1681), with Parliament attempting to exclude James II, a practising Catholic, from the throne. ...

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