Whatever Happened to Common Sense?

The time was 1775, the rebellion was increasing in intensity. Blood had been shed at Lexington and Concord, and Falmouth had been bombarded by ships of the Royal Navy. The rebellion had begun, but the War for Independence had not. The Continental Congress issued their declaration of causes, as well as extending peace overtures to King George with the "Olive Branch Petition", George Washington, now the commander-in-chief, preceded his evening meals with a toast to the king. In November of 1775 Congress passed a resolution affirming loyalty to the British Crown and Thomas Jefferson himself wrote in favor of reconciliation.  As Scott Liell writes in 46 Pages, "What the vast majority of colonists wanted was not liberty from but liberty within the British Empire. The political vision which animated their words and their actions was actually quite a conservative one." In short order, all of the above changed, prompted in large part by a 46-page pamphlet by a virtually...(Read Full Article)

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