1. Historical Background and Locke's Life John Locke (1632–1704) was one of the greatest philosophers in Europe at the end of the seventeenth century. Locke grew up and lived through one of the most extraordinary centuries of English political and intellectual history. It was a century in which conflicts between Crown and Parliament and the overlapping conflicts between Protestants, Anglicans and Catholics swirled into civil war in the 1640s. With the defeat and death of Charles I, there began a great experiment in governmental institutions including the abolishment of the monarchy, the House of Lords and the Anglican church, and the establishment of Oliver Cromwell's Protectorate in the 1650s. 1.1 Locke's Life up to His Meeting with Lord Ashley in 1666 Locke was born in Wrington to Puritan parents of modest means. From Westminster school he went to Christ Church, Oxford, in the autumn of 1652 at the age of twenty. Locke received his B.A. in February 1656. 2.
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