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Two Treatises of Government

John Locke was an English philosopher. Locke is considered the first of the British empiricists, but is equally important to social contract theory. His ideas had enormous influence on the development of epistemology and political philosophy, and he is widely regarded as one of the most influential Enlightenment thinkers, classical republicans, and contributors to liberal theory. His writings influenced Voltaire and Rousseau, many Scottish Enlightenment thinkers, as well as the American revolutionaries. This influence is reflected in the American Declaration of Independence. The second of these treatises was among the writings recommended by Thomas Jefferson as containing the "general principles of liberty and rights of man, in nature and society".