Published online by Cambridge University Press: 09 July 2021
Focusing on the decades leading up to the Declaration of Independence, chapter 5 presents historical arguments in favor and against independence. Selections from Patriots and Loyalists show that both the liberal social contract and the republican political contract could be levered in support of either position. Based on the political contract between ruler and ruled, Jonathan Mayhew argued that the people as a whole has a duty to rebel when the ruler becomes tyrannical. Daniel Leonard, in turn, opposed the Parliament’s oppression of the colonies from a liberal perspective, contending that men enter civil society to protect their property and that taxation without representation violated the principles of the social contract. After the First Continental Congress, however, Leonard changed to the Loyalist side and excerpts from his later writings reveal the use of republican arguments about virtual representation to argue against independence. Jonathan Boucher, again, argued based on the Locke’s theory that a right of resistance is incompatible with the duty to submit to majority decision. Other authors in this chapter include Daniel Dulaney, John Adams, Thomas Paine, and Peter Oliver.