George Washington

by Grant Wood (1892—1942)

Oil on canvas. Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, TX.

by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1863—1930)

Oil on canvas. One of the 78 scenes from American history by Ferris titled The Pageant of a Nation. Virginia Historical Society, Ric

by Junius Brutus Stearns (1810—85)

Oil on canvas; height: 95.25 cm (37.5 in), width: 137.16 cm (54 in). Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA.

by Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze (1816—68)

Oil on canvas; 149 x 255 in. (378.5 x 647.7 cm). Painted in the artist’s studio in Düsseldorf, Germany.

by Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze (1816—68)

Oil on canvas; approximately 23 ft. x 13 ft. Roger W.

by Gilbert Stuart (1755—1828)

Oil on canvas; 73 x 60.5 cm (28 3/4 x 23 13/16 in). National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

by Rembrandt Peale (1778—1860)


by Rembrandt Peale (1778—1860)

Oil on canvas. 73.02 x 60.01 cm (28 3/4 x 23 5/8 in). Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA.

by Rembrandt Peale (1778—1860)

Oil on canvas; 71.5 inches x 53.25 inches (181.6 cm x 135.3 cm). U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.

by Rembrandt Peale (1778—1860)

Oil on canvas; 137 1/2 x 120 1/2 in. (3.5 x 3 m). Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

What ultimately convinced Americans that they must revolt in 1776 was not that they were naturally and inevitably republican, for if that were truly the case evolution, not revolution, would have been the eventual solution. Rather it was the pervasive fear that they were not predestined to be a virtuous and egalitarian people that in the last analysis drove them into revolution in 1776. It was this fear and not their confidence in the peculiarity of their character that made them so readily and so remarkably responsive to Thomas Paine’s warning that the time for independence was at hand and that delay would be disastrous. By 1776 it had become increasingly evident that if they were to remain the kind of people they wanted to be they must become free of Britain.

Gordon S. Wood
The Creation of the American Republic, 1776—1787 (1969)