In Two Tracts on Government, written in 1660, Locke defends a very conservative position; however, Locke never published it.Some dispute the extent to which the Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina portray Locke's own philosophy, vs.
Peter Laslett, one of the foremost Locke scholars, has suggested that Locke held the printers to a higher "standard of perfection" than the technology of the time would permit.
Be that as it may, the first edition was indeed replete with errors.
Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury, Locke's mentor, patron and friend, introduced the bill, but it was ultimately unsuccessful.
Richard Ashcraft, following in Laslett's suggestion that the Two Treatises were written before the Revolution, objected that Shaftesbury's party did not advocate revolution during the Exclusion Crisis.
The Second Treatise outlines a theory of civil society.
Locke begins by describing the state of nature, a picture much more stable than Thomas Hobbes' state of "war of every man against every man," and argues that all men are created equal in the state of nature by God.The Two Treatises begin with a Preface announcing what Locke hopes to achieve, but he also mentions that more than half of his original draft, occupying a space between the First and Second Treatises, has been irretrievably lost.Peter Laslett maintains that, while Locke may have added or altered some portions in 1689, he did not make any revisions to accommodate for the missing section; he argues, for example, that the end of the First Treatise breaks off in mid-sentence.The second edition was even worse, and finally printed on cheap paper and sold to the poor.The third edition was much improved, but Locke was still not satisfied.It was in this form that Locke's work was reprinted during the 18th century in France and in this form that Montesquieu, Voltaire and Rousseau were exposed to it.Two Treatises is divided into the First Treatise and the Second Treatise.The First Treatise is an extended attack on Sir Robert Filmer's Patriarcha.Locke's argument proceeds along two lines: first, he undercuts the Scriptural support that Filmer had offered for his thesis, and second he argues that the acceptance of Filmer's thesis can lead only to slavery (and absurdity).The original title of the Second Treatise appears to have been simply "Book II," corresponding to the title of the First Treatise, "Book I." Before publication, however, Locke gave it greater prominence by (hastily) inserting a separate title page: "An Essay Concerning the True Original, Extent and End of Civil Government." The First Treatise is focused on the refutation of Sir Robert Filmer, in particular his Patriarcha, which argued that civil society was founded on a divinely sanctioned patriarchalism.Locke proceeds through Filmer's arguments, contesting his proofs from Scripture and ridiculing them as senseless, until concluding that no government can be justified by an appeal to the divine right of kings.