Enlightenment thinkers distinguished between the rulers and the ruled for several reasons, all of which helped color their “patriotism,” a sense of life that few today would appreciate. Today, the word “patriot” can scarcely be distinguished from the word “nationalist;” a patriot is above all one who is loyal to his government, his country, and his fellow citizens.
But back then — well, government was one thing. Country and citizens were quite another.
For most Enlightenment thinkers, to be a patriot was to favor the people of the country rather than the country’s rulers. [...]
Have a look.