The colonists had suffered under James II just as much the English. James had refused to recognized colonial charters, did not allow colonists any say over laws and taxes, and seemed to rule subjectively. James was a Catholic and the colonists were primarily Protestant, most of them radical Protestants. When James issued the Declarations of Indulgence, which granted freedom of worship to Catholics, this pleased Marylanders, but it deeply troubled the rest of the colonies. In the colonists mind, Catholicism equaled absolutism. They did not want it to become like the catholic France who had an absolute monarchy under King Louis.
When James was overthrown, the Dominion of New England fell. The charters were thrown out and voting right became available to all qualified male property holders and not just church members. It was their opportunity to strike back royal authority and unrest grew.
The most important political theories in the American Enlightenment were from John Locke's Two Treatises on Government and the work of other English radical... [continues]
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