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The influence of John Locke’s political philosophy on Thomas Jefferson is well-documented, from their shared belief in natural rights to their similar theories of property to their shared support of

The influence of John Locke’s political philosophy on Thomas Jefferson is well-documented, from their shared belief in natural rights to their similar theories of property to their shared support of religious freedom. As one of Jefferson’s “three greatest men,” Locke’s influence cannot be understated. The influence of Baron de Montesquieu is far more contested, but nonetheless Jefferson’s close study of Montesquieu and their shared belief in the character of republics and the necessity of education, among other things, provide clear evidence for Montesquieu’s influence.

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