Algernon Sidney

Algernon Sidney or Sydney (15 January 1623 – 7 December 1683) was an English politician and member of the middle part of the Long Parliament. A republican political theorist, colonel, and commissioner of the trial of King Charles I of England, he opposed the king's execution. Sidney was later charged with plotting against Charles II, in part based on his most famous work, Discourses Concerning Government, which was used by the prosecution as a witness at his trial. He was executed for treason.[1] After his death, Sidney was revered as a "Whig patriot–hero and martyr".

Algernon Sidney
Born15 January 1623
Baynard's Castle, London, England
Died7 December 1683 (1683-12-08) (aged 60)
Tower Hill, London, England
Era17th-century philosophy
(Modern philosophy)
RegionWestern philosophy
Main interests
Political philosophy
Notable ideas
The individuals have the right to choose their own form of government and that, if that government became corrupt, the people retained the power to abolish it and form another
Portrait of Sidney on the frontispiece of the French translation Discours sur le gouvernement (Discourses Concerning Government), The Hague, 1702

The works of Algernon Sidney, along with those of contemporary John Locke, are considered a cornerstone of western thought. Discourses Concerning Government cost Sidney his life. However, the ideas it put forth survived and ultimately culminated in the Glorious Revolution in England and the founding of the American Republic. Sidney directly opposed the divine right of kings political theory by suggesting ideas such as limited government, voluntary consent of the people and the right of citizens to alter or abolish a corrupt government. Discourses Concerning Government has been called "the textbook of the American revolution."[2][1]