Chapter 5 of Locke’s Second Treatise of Government


John Locke was an English philosopher, famous for his liberal ideas and natural rights. In Two Treatises of Government, he evaluated different states of nature, war, and slavery. In the fifth chapter, Locke focused on property and its establishment in society from God’s perspective. The purpose of this essay is to summarize and critically evaluate Chapter Five on Property by Locke, including such concepts as land, posterity, appropriation, labor, and needs.

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The analysis of property began with God’s decision to provide people with the right to live and survive as soon as they are born. Addressing the Bible, Locke underlined that God gave equal opportunities to Adam and his posterity and questioned the possibility to explain the essence of ownership, as well as the ways it could be developed. If God gave the world to people, he had also offered a reason for determining the advantage of life. However, it is hard for a person to understand how to distinguish between something to possess and not. Locke used the concept of labor to remove the common, natural state from everything that could be used. In other words, there is no definite right that a person should possess something from birth. All things around are in their natural states, and, as soon as a person uses labor to remove an item from this state, he or she makes it a property.

Another important section of this chapter is devoted to the question of how much is enough for a person in terms of available property. Locke answered this question by defining human needs and enjoyment. Until people work on the land to meet their needs, they have access to the land and other types of property. However, compared to nature which set specific limits to property, people failed to understand the boundaries and began wanting more than they could possess. As a result, the intrinsic value of things was developed, provoking the emergence of money, inequality, and competition.

Critical Evaluation

Modern people do not pay attention to such aspects as property origins or the distribution of rights. It is easy for citizens to be obsessed with problems and a lack of the government’s attention instead of understanding the conditions under which they should live and work. People address God regularly because of the inability to have anything they want or to do the work they need. They complain, get angry, and cannot cope with a feeling of greed. God becomes the reason for social competitions and unequal relationships. However, the strength of Locke’s work is the attention to the details when the world was created, and when God divided powers and opportunities. The land was equally available to all people regardless of their social status, gender, or age. People were free in their intentions to decide either to work and use labor for benefits or to protest and notice unfair treatment.

I agree with the majority of Locke’s ideas because I want to believe in the fair intentions of God to support each person. Labor is a factor that helps to gain and store property, and posterity is a good reason for family relations. After reading this chapter, I got a better understanding of money creation and contribution. It was not just a whim of a group of people but an obligation to appreciate the achievements and underline the needs. Food and other products should not be spoiled because of the inability of a person to use all the property at once. I like the approach described by Locke as it has a reason, meaning, and clear examples.


In general, the chapter under analysis is characterized by several strong and educative moments about how property and ownership were originated and developed. Despite the desire of a person to blame someone, property is a common accomplishment that was first observed during Adam’s and Eve’s period. Possessions beyond the needs can be allowed today, and people are the actual authors of such agreements, not God.

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"Chapter 5 of Locke’s Second Treatise of Government." StudyCorgi, 13 June 2021,

1. StudyCorgi. "Chapter 5 of Locke’s Second Treatise of Government." June 13, 2021.


StudyCorgi. "Chapter 5 of Locke’s Second Treatise of Government." June 13, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Chapter 5 of Locke’s Second Treatise of Government." June 13, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Chapter 5 of Locke’s Second Treatise of Government'. 13 June.

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