New thinking and writings that came out of the Enlightenment period much influenced the ideology of the American colonists. Perhaps most important was John Locke and his essays on the Treatise of Government and Concerning Human Understanding. Locke argued that people had natural rights and liberties that allowed man to do whatever he wanted to do without the arbitrary or absolute power of another man. In this state of natural right, people were allotted the basic rights of life, liberty, and property. Locke believe that contracts were binding, and if people entered into a "social contract" with government, and the government ends up infringing on these natural rights, the people then have the right to resist their government. Prior to the revolution, the British Parliament was certainly an arbitrary and absolute power over the colonies. .
The oppositionists were political writers who feared that the Parliament, the freely elected representatives of the people who established the basis for political liberty and protection from tyranny, were buying elections from voters. Thus, the oppositionists feared that the Parliament no longer represented the people, and that the "elected" officials were out to destroy liberty. The oppositionists referred to themselves as the "country party." They were not, of course, the only ones who began questioning English government, however. English radicals such as Joseph Priestly and James Burgh collected ideas from Enlightenment and oppositionist authors and found that "at the heart of all political relationships raged a struggle between the aggressive extension of artificial power and the natural liberty of the people." People must make sure to avoid corruption in their own lives and most of all, "remain alert for "conspiracies."".
Soon after these ideologies emerged, colonists themselves identified the Stamp Act conspiracies by the British that was designed to induce rebellion, and then in turn punishment by Great Britain.