Involved in some of the same anti-monarchical causes as John Locke, Sidney was caught up in the conspiracy to oust King Charles II. He was beheaded on December 7, 1683, a martyr to the English Whig cause. Fifteen years after his death, his Discourses Concerning Government was published. A hero to John Adams and widely read in the American colonies, Sidney famously inscribed the following in the Visitor’s Book at the University of Copenhagen: “This hand, enemy to tyrants, by the sword seeks peace under liberty.” This inscription later inspired the state motto of Massachusetts.


Chapter One

Section 17. God having given the Government of the World to no one Man, nor declared how it should be divided, left it to the Will of Man. Read more