General Overview of Areopagitica, Habeas Corpus Act, British Bill of Rights, Second Treatise on Government

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Questions for Areopagitica (John Milton)

· Which, according to Milton, is worse, destroying a book or destroying a human being? Why?

To destroy a book is worse than to destroy a human being according to Milton. He thought the burning of a book is the same as killing the thought of god. He also thought the demolition of a book would be like killing purpose and existence. Milton believed that if a person has created a book it contains ideas/ thoughts of God and its creation and if you damage it you destroy what God has made.

· What is censorship? Find a specific definition of censorship and discuss it.

Censorship is “the changing or the suppression or prohibition of speech or writing that is deemed subversive of the common good” (Anastaplo). This basically means that censorship is the government officially composed restrictions. Sometimes, censorship is necessary and sometimes not, for example, censorship is needed when a little kid is watching a show in which there are curse words to avoid them from learning bad words. But censorship isn’t necessary when someone’s freedom of speech is being limited.

· Why did Milton write this essay? Discuss, and give specifics.

Milton composed his work owing to the new law passed by parliament. This new law required that each book be approved by an official censor before it might be published somewhat. Milton wrote this essay in order to guide the parliament to abolish the regulations. Also, he wrote this essay to explain the parliament that censorship is limiting the freedom of speech.

· What are Milton's arguments against censorship?

In Milton’s essay, there are ten arguments are provided against censorship. But the main argument is that censorship was not part of the ancient Greek/Roman society. The theme of Milton’s work is that no matter if a book has censorship or not it can’t be destroyed. Not only that but he also justifies why it shouldn’t be destroyed. AAAAA

· Do Milton’s arguments have relevance today? Explain, using a specific modern-day example.

Milton's arguments are society are still relevant today. Even though John Milton isn’t alive today, his arguments are still alive. Today it is becoming a huge problem as people are fighting for the freedom of speech or censorship. An example is YouTube because whenever a person posted a video on it which contained bad/curse words or inappropriate content, they either took the video down or censored. Many YouTubers tried to call it the violation of freedom of speech but it was a fail. Not only that but there was a case where a person posted an educational video about the holocaust but it was censored because YouTube wanted to stop hate speech (Schulman). This shows that the problem with censorship is still alive and that people still argue over it.

Questions for the Habeas Corpus Act

· What is meant by 'habeas corpus'?

It is accurately meant by 'habeas corpus' either to produce the body, to hold the body or to have the body. It is a court order that directs law enforcement officers who are in custody over the prisoner to appear with the prisoner in court to help the judge determine whether or not the prisoner is convicted of the crime. Not only that but at any point the inmate has the chance, under this law, to have their case checked if they wish.

· Why is the writ of habeas corpus so important in the Western legal tradition?

Writ of habeas corpus is very important to the western legal tradition because whoever is acting on behalf of the inmate can abide by a judge and the judge will issue a writ. A writ is a court order where a judge orders something. The writ of habeas corpus says that the authorities must bring the person before the judge, and then he/she will ask hard questions about why this person is being held. The authorities have to convince the judge that they have a literate reason for holding this person.

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Questions for the British Bill of Rights (1689)

· What was the background to the English Bill of Rights? (What events led to it?)

There are many events that led to the creation of the English bill of Rights. For example, the parliament passed a law that ensured that taxes couldn’t be enforced without the consent of people and the civil war happening in England. Not only that but the king was executed which led to monarchy gaining power. All this led to James II taking the throne and passing the English Bill of Rights.

· In what ways does the Bill of Rights restrict the power of the king?

The Bill of Rights restricts the power of the king by giving people the power to overthrow the king. Additionally, under the bill of rights, the kings cannot do as he pleases, instead, the king has to do as the people say. The king had to listen to the complaints of the people and find a solution for them. Also, under it, the king can’t take advantage of its power because it is limited. This was an advantage for the people as they had a fair say in what was happening in their country.

· What is the significance of the Bill of Rights for England, and for America? Do you see similarities? Explain.

The Bill of Rights for England is significant due to the fact it gives people the right to overthrow and it confined the ability of the king and queen. The Bill of Rights contributed to the first ten reforms inside the Americas. The English Bill of Rights and the American Bill of Rights gave people the right to be free from the state. Some examples of the similarities encompass the reality that they both offer the people the power to abolish the government's leader (King or Queen).

· How did the English system differ from French practice between 1689 and 1789? (i.e. constitutionalism vs. absolutism)

The English system was different from the French practice between 1689 and 1789. In, France during the specific period, they had royal absolutism where there was no institutional check for the king's authority. But on the other hand, England during this time was a constitutional monarchy, which is the opposite of absolutism. It had a check on the king’s power and what it could and couldn’t do. Not only that but also the Bill of rights limited the power of the crown (Queen/King).

Questions for the Second Treatise on Government (1690)

· How does John Locke justify the overthrow of royal authority?

John Locke defends the overthrow of royal authority by convincing people into overthrowing the government by rebelling. The wanted to get rid of absolute 0power.AAA

· What is the state of nature? What are the potential “problems” with it?

The state of nature means that all men are free 'to order their action, and dispose of their possessions and persons, as they think fit.' Locke believed that 'no one ought to harm another in his life, liberty, and property,' if one did do a bad dead they were to be punished ('Internet History Sourcebooks').

· What, for Locke, is the chief “end” of political association (i.e. the reason for government)?

According to Locke the chief end of political association is when people rebel against the government and attempt to protect themselves and their country from destruction because of bad and irresponsible leaders. He also believes that the political group will end when people want to get rid of the leader. By stating this he wants people to understand how to protect their country. ADD

· What importance does John Locke have for later events in America? Explain, giving specific examples.

In later events in America, Locke became a very influential person by creating a model during the founding of the US. Locke established a foundation for the government which rules the US today. Locke argued that the government's duty was to protect the nation's people's natural rights which included life, liberty, and property. If the people felt that the ruler has failed to protect the people's natural rights then they should have the power to overthrow the government. Not only was that but his thought of “life, liberty, and property” later used in the US constitution as 'life liberty, and pursuit of happiness.'


  1. Anastaplo, George. 'Censorship | Definition, History, Types, & Examples'. Encyclopedia Britannica, 2018, Accessed 1 Feb 2020.
  2. Schulman, Marc. 'Youtube Wants To Fight Hate Speech. So It Censored My Educational Video About The Holocaust | Opinion'. Newsweek, 2019, Accessed 1 Feb 2020.
  3. 'Internet History Sourcebooks'. Fordham.Edu, Accessed 1 Feb 2020.
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General Overview of Areopagitica, Habeas Corpus Act, British Bill of Rights, Second Treatise on Government. (2022, July 14). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 21, 2024, from
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