- ›› Keywords : Common Sense
Philadelphia was the commercial and cultural hub of the British colonies and is indelibly linked in Americans’ minds as the site of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the writing of the US Constitution.
After the Revolutionary War, the reformist wing of the American Revolutionists began to inscribe plans for striking at the heart of colonial inequalities and conservative governmental structures. The reformers were met with plenty of resistance from social, economic, and political conservatives, and they by no means reached all their goals. Nobody put pen to paper to carve out a systematic plan for thoroughgoing reform. Rather, different groups, different men and women, different organizations, each with their own experiences and hopes for the future, espoused a variety of changes.
British North Americans were not the only group of European colonists in the Americas to rebel against their distant rulers in this era. Beginning in 1808, those in Spain’s vast American empire—spanning from Mexico in the north to Buenos Aires in the south; Peru in the west to the present-day coast of Venezuela in the east—rose up against Spanish rule.
Glossary Term – Event
Thomas Paine’s pamphlet Common Sense, promoting independence for the colonies, was published. It sold more than 100,000 copies in three months.
New York University historian Nicole Eustace discusses the “tempest of emotion” that swept through the Age of Reason, epitomized by the earliest call for a full break between the American colonies and Great Britain, Thomas Paine’s passionate Common Sense.
Many students misconstrue the American Revolution as a period of unanimous support for independence from Great Britain. However, colonists generally considered themselves loyal British citizens, asserting rightful constitutional claims that had been previously established through their colonial charters or contracts. After the French and Indian War ended in 1763, many colonies saw their right of self-rule stripped away by Parliament as it exerted greater authority over its empire. In reaction to this attempt to...