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.
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.
NJ — 26 December 1776 (Second Battle of Trenton, 2 January 1777).
Orange, VA — Commemorates the life and times of the founding father and fourth president; includes period furniture, personal artifacts, and papers.
Orange, VA — Built c. 1764 and expanded twice, this was James Madison's lifelong home from infancy; full restoration completed 2008.
Washington, DC — Contains the original of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and more
Philadelphia, PA — Opened in 2003, the nonprofit Center “illuminates constitutional ideals and inspires acts of citizenship” by providing a theatrical overview, multimedia history, interactive exhibits, and life-size statues of the signers of the Constitution.
Trenton, NJ — A 155-foot granite column that commemorates the 1776 Battle of Trenton; accessible by means of an elevator with good views of the capital of New Jersey.
The Creation of the American Republic, 1776—1787 (1969)