WHOSE REBELLION? REFORMED RESISTANCE THEORY IN AMERICA: PART I

by SARAH MORGAN SMITH AND MARK DAVID HALL in Vol. 3 No. 2 / Oct 2017



Abstract
Students of the American Founding routinely assert that America’s civic leaders were influenced by secular Lockean political ideas, especially on the question of resistance to tyrannical authority. Yet virtually every political idea usually attributed to John Locke was alive and well among Reformed political thinkers decades before Locke wrote the Second Treatise. In this two-part essay, we trace just one element of the Reformed political tradition: the question of who may actively and justly resist a tyrant. We focus on the American experience but begin our discussion by considering the early Reformers.



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