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.
New Rochelle, NY — The cottage was originally built on land granted by New York to Paine in 1784; it was moved to its present location, repaired, and dedicated in 1910 as a museum and historic site.
New Rochelle, NY — Home of the Thomas Paine Historical Association, the museum and library offer a substantial collection of first editions, rare prints, and manuscripts.
The Creation of the American Republic, 1776—1787 (1969)