One Body of People: Locke on Punishment, Native Land Rights, and the Protestant Evangelism of North America

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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to challenge the wide-spread belief that Locke advocated for the disposition of native peoples’ land due to their savagery or because they used land wastefully and inefficiently. These represent two sides of what I call the punishment thesis. Not only are there are good textual reasons in the Second Treatise (and elsewhere) to think that Locke was not interested in punishing native peoples for violating the natural law, but the history of Locke’s involvement with the Carolina colony also tells a remarkably different story—namely, Locke appears to direct the brunt of his moral argument against European settlers, not the native peoples.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLocke Studies
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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Native Land
Land Rights
Evangelism
Punishment
Native People
Settler
Disposition
Treatise
Natural Law
History
Savagery
Colonies

Cite this

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abstract = "The purpose of this paper is to challenge the wide-spread belief that Locke advocated for the disposition of native peoples’ land due to their savagery or because they used land wastefully and inefficiently. These represent two sides of what I call the punishment thesis. Not only are there are good textual reasons in the Second Treatise (and elsewhere) to think that Locke was not interested in punishing native peoples for violating the natural law, but the history of Locke’s involvement with the Carolina colony also tells a remarkably different story—namely, Locke appears to direct the brunt of his moral argument against European settlers, not the native peoples.",
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