Analysis On How John Locke’s Philosophies Inspired Simon Bolivar To Fight For Venezuela’s Freedom

Simon Bolivar (Creole) was born to a wealthy family. Bolivar put his effort and time into fighting for Venezuela’s independence. Bolivar was inspired in this endeavor by John Locke’s ideas about the Enlightenment. John Locke explains what state of nature people are currently in. The State of Nature refers to a situation in which people can do what they want without being controlled by a government. His enlightenment ideas stated that while people must follow government rules and regulations to be safe, they also have to meet the needs of the people. John Locke believes that the people can take power back from the government if it fails to deliver on the people’s demands. The Creoles and the rest of society are struggling to get independence from their Spanish governments. But Locke’s enlightenment ideas help them understand what they can and cannot do when ruled over by a government. “We’ve already seen the light, so it’s not necessary to return to the darkness …”. (bolivar) Simon Bolivar discusses how the Creoles and the spaniards are in this situation. He describes how Creoles could see freedom in past times and that they almost got there. The Spaniards are preventing them from achieving the freedom and peace they desire. “… When legislators seek to take away, destroy, or reduce the property of the citizens to slavery under arbitrary control, they enter into a state war with them.” (Locke). John Locke shows us what the citizens can do if the government fails its duties. The government may attempt to take and destroy the property of the people. However, society has the right to overthrow it. Both Bolivar as Locke share the same views on governmental control. They are both aware of the potential consequences if the government doesn’t fulfill citizens’ natural rights. The Creoles were unable to join the Spanish government nor to trade. The Spaniards had blocked any communication the Creoles might have been able to reach. Spain was too greedy to allow them to become merchants or traders. Their only concern was the creoles, not their own desires. Bolivar traders and emerchants became a result of Spain’s greed. They concentrated their attention only on the creoles work method, and not on their needs. Bolivar further expands on this idea and reveals how the Creoles were treated in government areas. Locke states that “… no person can be removed from the estate and subjected at will to the power of another individual” (Locke (6). Locke is saying that people are able to decide whether or not they wish to be under governmental control. The people have the right to decide whether they want protection. The government may try to remove consent from the people, but it is not possible.

Bolivar is a different thinker than Locke when it comes to government issues. Bolivar claimed that the Spanish government was only there to make the creoles miserable, while Locke said that the government should protect and preserve them. Bolivar’s description of the Spanish government’s harsh treatment was clear and concise. Bolivar 3, “We are constantly in fear. It is dishonorable and it is causing us harm. The Spanish government has actually done everything to put the Creoles in danger, instead of protecting them. The Spanish government is the “stepmother” of the creoles because they treat them so harshly. The government becomes more successful and less positive, which causes the creoles to become more upset. It makes them more nervous about the government’s next move. This could possibly lead to their death. Locke said that the government should uphold the rights of all citizens and protect them from any harm. The people have placed their trust in the government and given them freedom and liberty. “… is putting their property under government. There are many things lacking in Nature. The creoles would be giving the government power if they gave up their rights. The government was not able to have total and utter control over the people as they used them for safety and protection from other countries. Locke also stated that “the reason men enter into a society contract is to preserve their property.” (Locke 15). If people signed the social contract, they would give the government their rights. This would allow them to have much control over the laws and who is part of it. Bolivar’s and Locke’s views on government and its contribution to the people are therefore different.

Author

  • jacobcunningham

    Jacob Cunningham is a 26-year-old education blogger and teacher who resides in the Pacific Northwest. Jacob's teaching and writing focus on the use of technology in the classroom, and he is a frequent presenter at education conferences around the country. Jacob's work has been featured on sites such as The Huffington Post, Edutopia, and TechCrunch.

jacobcunningham

jacobcunningham

Jacob Cunningham is a 26-year-old education blogger and teacher who resides in the Pacific Northwest. Jacob's teaching and writing focus on the use of technology in the classroom, and he is a frequent presenter at education conferences around the country. Jacob's work has been featured on sites such as The Huffington Post, Edutopia, and TechCrunch.