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.
Steuben, Baron von
Philadelphia, PA — Founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin and John Bartram to promote
Useful Knowledge.Philosophical Hall (1789) is now a museum featuring art, scientific instruments, rare books, original manuscripts, natural history specimens, and curiosities.
Washington, DC — Dedicated to Lafayette in 1824; at each corner is a statue of one foreign general who served in the war.
River Edge, NJ — Presented to Baron von Steuben, Inspector General, in 1783 by the state of New Jersey for his services during the war; includes fine collection of period furnishings.
Remsen, NY — Includes a replica cabin, which contains period pieces, five wooded acres, and the monument which marks Baron von Steuben’s burial spot.
Valley Forge, VA — This federal-style mansion, built about 1740 and enlarged in 1798, served as headquarters for the Continental Army during the Battle of Germantown in 1777; includes period furniture and artifacts on 3.5 acres.
The Creation of the American Republic, 1776—1787 (1969)