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Subject Test U.S. History

Question 25 of 29

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SAT Subject Test

In the Declaration of Independence, the theory of government used to justify the break with Britain was derived most directly from the ideas of:

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Rousseau

Correct Answer: 
No

Locke

Correct Answer: 
Yes

Montesquieu

Correct Answer: 
No

Hobbes

Correct Answer: 
No

Voltaire

Correct Answer: 
No

John Locke's arguments that the legitimacy of government depends on the consent of the governed, that political authority is based on social contract, and that people have natural rights to life, liberty, and property were fundamental to the Declaration of Independence.

Hobbes and Rousseau were important contributors to the development of contract theory and it was Montesquieu who put forward the idea of separation of powers later applied in the Constitution, but Locke's ideas were by far the most direct source for the Declaration's justification of the break with Britain. The Enlightenment philosophy of Voltaire did not directly contribute to the theory of government applied in the Declaration.

Question Difficulty: 
hard