What Did the Patriots Believe?

The Patriots believed in the principles of liberalism and republicanism: limited government, representation and civil rights. They were against what they considered to be unjust taxes and limitations on commerce. These issues were factors in the Patriots' overall concern with tyrannical government.

Both liberalism and republicanism were critical parts of the beliefs of the Patriots. Liberalism, a philosophy primarily concerned with liberty and equality, manifested itself in the Patriots' objections to the laws limiting their movement and commercial activity. One of the most detested policies among the Patriots was the Royal Proclamation of 1763, which forbade colonists from settling beyond a line drawn in the Appalachians in territories acquired during the French and Indian War. The Patriots also resented the quartering of British soldiers in the private home of colonists.

The Patriots were republicans, and they firmly believed in representative government. Their preference for republican systems largely stemmed from their personal history with such governments. The colonies in both the north and south had popularly elected legislatures with a significant degree of independence in deciding colonial affairs. For this reason, the Patriots sternly reproached the British government for placing laws on colonists who were not represented in parliaments, a conditioned echoed in the famous phrase "no taxation without representation."