Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
John Locke and AmericaThe Defence of English Colonialism$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Barbara Arneil

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198279679

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198279679.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 October 2021

Colonialism: Locke's Theory of Property

Colonialism: Locke's Theory of Property

(p.132) 6 Colonialism: Locke's Theory of Property
John Locke and America

Barbara Arneil

Oxford University Press

Property lies at the heart of John Locke's Two Treatises of Government. The creation of property and its preservation constitute the foundation of the state of nature and civil society, respectively. Property, its origin and protection, are also central to England's colonial settlements in America and, by extension, to the Earl of Shaftesbury's Carolina. Locke's chapter on property is, simultaneously, a philosophical treatise expounding the natural right to property as the basis of civil government, an exposition of the economic benefits of the English plantation, and a defence of England's right to American soil. Locke uses the language of natural law to answer the questions posed by his patron's colonial policies in America. Within the specific context of the colonial debates about New England and Carolina occurring in England, Locke's chapter on property is an economic defence of England's colonial aims and methods in America. It is also an ethical justification of England's appropriation of American soil.

Keywords:   John Locke, America, England, property, Two Treatises of Government, state of nature, colonialism, natural law, Carolina, Amerindians

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .