Our perception of John Locke's ideas and significance has undergone profound change in the last forty years. Once assumed to have been a justification of the revolution of 1688, his Two Treatises are now located amongst the radical Whig writings of the late 1670s or early 1680s.1 Alongside the redating there has been a fundamental re-evaluation of the work's impact. As Mark Goldie puts it, ‘where Locke was once assumed to be the ineluctable fountain of political wisdom, he has now come to have an elusive and fugitive presence’.2 John Kenyon, Martyn Thompson, Harry Dickinson, Quentin Skinner and John Pocock have all questioned or minimized the influence that Locke's political ideology had, both at the time of its publication and throughout much of the eighteenth century.3 The effect of marginalizing Locke's political discourse has changed our historical emphasis, so...

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