The innovation of human rights in the twentieth century extended the idea of individual rights to include all human beings, regardless of citizenship or state affiliation. Human rights helped reconstitute individual identity and freedom as something transcending national borders. As the atrocities of the World Wars made clear, there were times when the state became the citizen’s greatest enemy and outside protection was his or her best and only hope. Before examining universality and other ideological conflicts concerning the idea of human rights, let us turn our attention now to the various kinds of rights that human rights encompass.
Still, in any society, Locke contended, people are endowed with certain natural rights (to "life, liberty, and property"). In his enormously renowned political theory, Locke presented the idea of governmental checks and balances, which became a foundation for the . Constitution . He also argued that revolution in some circumstances is not only a right but an obligation, which also clearly influenced the Founding Fathers. He most eloquently expounded his arguments concerning the natural rights of man in his 1680 work, Second Treatise on Government (or Two Treatises on Government ), a book that Thomas Jefferson read at least three times.