Ryan Kennedy Quotes John Locke On Birthright Citizenship
April 25, 2011, 05:00 AM
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Re: Matthew Slater`s letter An English Reader Gives Us A "Birthright" History Lesson

From: Ryan Kennedy (e-mail him)

Regarding reader Matthew Slater`s letter regarding the history (or lack thereof) of birthright citizenship, he leaves out John Locke`s thoughts on the matter.

In Locke`s Government, Chap. VII, he wrote

 "But, `tis plain, Governments themselves understand it otherwise; they claim no Power over the Son, because of that they had over the Father; nor look on Children as being their Subjects, by their Fathers being so. If a Subject of England have a Child by an English Woman in France, whose Subject is he? Not the King of England`s; for he must have leave to be admitted to the Privileges of it. Nor the King of France`s; for how then has his Father a liberty to bring him away, and breed him as he pleases? And who ever was judged as a Traytor or Deserter, if he left, or warr`d against a Country, for being barely born in it of Parents that were Aliens there? `Tis plain then, by the Practice of Governments themselves, as well as by the law of right Reason, that a child is born a Subject of no Country or Government."

Locke`s thoughts are important because his writing influenced great swaths of American government and law.

Ryan Kennedy (email him) has written us many letters and articles. He lives in Anchorage, Alaska.