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The Divine Right of Kings vs. Individual Rights

In this debate, Filmer presented a defense of the doctrine of the “divine right of kings” in 1680. It triggered a reply first from Algernon Sidney, who wrote between 1681 and his execution for treason in 1683, and then John Locke in the first part of The Two Treatises of Government (1689). Locke argued that the legitimacy of government depended not upon the divine right of the monarch to rule but upon the natural rights of man and the consent of the governed. A third response was Tyrrell’s Patriarcha non Monarcha published in 1681.

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