Articles of Confederation

Political philosopher, Boston revolutionary leader, signer of the Declaration of Independence, Massachusetts governor; 1722—1803.
 
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Lawyer, politician, writer, militia officer, signer of the Declaration of Independence; 1732—1808.
 
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Signer of the Declaration of Independence, vice president under Madison; 1744—1814.
 
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Signer of the Declaration of Independence, “Financier of the Revolution”; 1734—1806.
 
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Lawyer and politician from Connecticut; signer of the Declaration of Independence; 1721—93.
 
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Scots Presbyterian minister, president of the College of New Jersey, signer of the Declaration of Independence; 1723—94.
 
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Eighteenth-century writers seemed uncertain how best to describe Britain’s relation to its many overseas possessions. Only tepidly did they employ the concept of empire since for them it carried uncomfortable baggage from ancient history. The traditional usage suggested that control over distant colonies and expansion into new regions depended on military might. But the notion that Great Britain was a modern-day Rome, dispatching powerful legions to conquer the world, did not sit well with a people who celebrated liberty and rights, the blessings of living under a balanced constitution.

T. H. Breen
The Marketplace of the Revolution (2004)