Name: Scott W. Kissner
Course: Development of the American Experience
Date: 06/15/2010
John Locke (Locke) made the following claim “If a controversy arise betwixt a prince and some of the people, in a matter where the law is silent, or doubtful, and the thing be of great consequence, I should think the proper umpire, in such a case, should be the body of the people:”, in Chapter 19, which begins the second from the last paragraph at the end of his Two Treaties of Civil Government, as found in the Classics of Moral and Political Theory   anthology on the left-hand column of page 749.
It is difficult to look at only part of the first sentence within this paragraph and understand what Locke is trying to say. This is especially true since this is so close to the end of his work, being the last Chapter and the next to the last paragraph of the Two Treaties of Civil Government. Locke’s last chapter, “Of the Dissolution of Government” gives some insight to this claim (Locke 740). Locke posses the problem, what if a dispute arises between a person who is in power, in this case a prince, and part of the group of people that he has been entrusted to administer? Continuing with the rest of the paragraph, if the prince has been entrusted to administer the common ordinary rule of law and the prince abuses the law or his powers, then those who put him in power should be responsible for correcting his actions or removing him from power. This makes perfect senses that the “body of people” that put him in power would be “proper to judge as the body of the people” to remove him from power (Locke 749). Locke’s concluding chapter, needs more detail before it can be understood or interpreted. Locke has spent 18 chapters explaining why and how a person or a “body of people” have the power to “judge” (Locke 749).   To understand this it is best to understand what came before this chapter since this chapter involves dissolving the government that has been designed and built up to...