John Locke: Ideologies

These were the main ideas that John Locke believed in. These ideas influenced Rousseau and Rousseau influenced Robespierre.

Social Contract

This is the agreement between the government and the people. The people give the right to a body of people to be the sovereigns or leders that have the authority to conduct and create laws. In return the people should get public order and proper governing.


John Locke belived that all decisions and actions should be based on reason. Conventional practices should be questioed as to why they are done? Seeking for reasons brought about the French Revolution. People started asking why does the third estate get taxed more? Why is the king king if he is unfit for the throne and etc. This caused commotion and added to the natural distaste towards the Monarchy.

Separation Of Powers

John Locke believed that if society was divied up into three compartments with their own responsibilities and their own amount of power that society will function better. This is where the three estates of the French pre-revolution hierarchy come from. However this is a twisted misused version of the sepration powers, making the third estate ‘crippled’ in terms of power and political significance. The Frnech ancien regime was divided like this, the Monarchy, Aristocracy and the Commons. The commons were the third estate, poorly treated and all the power drained from them by the 1st and 2nd estate’s.

Equality: Life, Health, Liberty and The Pursuit to Happiness.

This was also one of Lockes political theories. Every man should have the right to protection, healthcare, freedom and to become whatever they wanted regardless of their social status.

How Does This Link To Robespierre And His Actions?

This was the whole point of the French Revolution. On these foundations did people revolt, fighting, hopefully for a better way of life. Although Robespierre only played a crucial role in the revolution later on during the Reign of Terror. He advocated these ideas of Social Contract and reasoning. Since after the revolution, France was in turmoil with no distinct ‘sovereign”, many parties were created. However one party was created, the Commitee of Public Safety. Robespierre was the president of this party and he automatically had the power for most of the decisions, along with other minor parties. these were the ideologies Robespierre was fighting for even though it was with extremism. He conducted a Reighn of Terror where all anti-revolutionries were beheaded with the infamous guillotine. Every death sentence was justified by the ideologies in the sense that they said they were killing the aristocracy to ‘sustain’ these ideologies in the community. It eventually got so out of hand that even Robespierre himself was executed.

Compare & Contrast Between Marxism and Enlightenment Ideologies [Mainly of John Locke]


  • Communism is one system-advocating on how to rule a country economically, socially and politically. It’s organized, it’s got everything in order to rule a country. It’s the ‘one stop shop’. When you promise Communism to people or something similar you cant really twist it so much as to the way Robespierre did.
  • Whereas ideologies from the enlightenment were a bit wishy washy and had loopholes in order to be twisted so corrupt leaders can justify their injustifible actions. The ideologies were all over the place, one could take and mix and twist and do whatever pleased and still keeping the leaders ‘promise’ to the people.


  • Both ideologies were directed towards the working class. They were applicable only in political aspects, they lead to political revolutions.
  • The ideologies, if accepted by the majority and came into being gave tremendous power to the hands of a proletariat.

4 Responses to “John Locke: Ideologies”

  1. […] Revolutions The Motives Behind The Actions « John Locke: Ideologies […]

  2. I don’t agree that communism is one stop shop, dicatators have twisted into several different versions hence we have Stalinilsm, Leninism, Marxism, Maoism etc. Also the ideas of the Enlightement had already been used to created the Declearation of Independence in USA and create a newly formed nation…so this does not make them ‘wishy-Washy.’ Also I don’t see the link between the Reign of Terror and Locke…how do the ideas of Lock come into being here? These ideas were already used to inspire the Rev. and create the Decleration of the Rights of Man..on which the French consistitution was based. This secion is done in haste with little close analysis.

    • When I say ‘one stop-shop’ I mean that it’s basically straight forward because it’s all written down in the Communist Manifesto. It’s all in one place and it’s there in black and white so to speak as opposed to the Ideologies of the Enlightenment as some of them may be recorded down but they were spread vocally in local tavers and social gatherings. When their vocally spread it’s easier to twist it the ideologies and tell the people “this is what’s happening in America” ( becuause the French Third Estate was provoked by the ideologies taking into effect in America)

  3. Mrs. Snyder,
    I understand that it won’t be as good as the section for the Cuban Revolution becuase I did the French Revolution for the sake of comparing different revolutions and so I did it at a very basic level and since I left it for last and had to rush it. I hope it wont have a great influence on my grade since the Cuban Revolution is where I put all the effort into.

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