Setting the stage of the “Revolutionary” rhetoric was the writing of “Common Sense” by Thomas Paine in 1776. His writing offered a very significant vision and set the complete stage for American Independence. His writings set thoughts of how belonging to the British Empire only caused problems for the American people, that with our association to the Empire it caused conflict with other countries. He touched on the ability to trade freely with other countries and how that was limited being tied to Britain. He stated in his writing “ membership in the British Empire was a burden to the colonies, not a benefit.” Using language that would grasp not just the educated but the uneducated, it was only six months time between his writing of “Common Sense” and the Second Continental Congress’ decision to break their ties with Great Britain.
On July 2, 1776 America was declared an independent nation. Then on July 4th, 1776 approved by Congress was The Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence changed the definition for American Freedom. “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” is one of the many phrases from The Declaration of Independence that held a promise to the people of America that freedom and liberty were within reach. It brought freedoms to the people to grow in their own potential without the government directing their every move, and as they saw fit, Americans could shape society. The Declaration not only set the stage for American Independence but it also held as an inspiration for peoples of other nations to adopt their own forms of The Declaration of Independence, setting the stage for global independence.
Another writing by Thomas Paine that held as an inspiration during the War for Independence was “The American Crisis”. George Washington read this to soldiers before their attack on the Hessians. It stated “These are times that try men’s souls, The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”
In 1778 the Treaty of Amity and Commerce with France sent French military assistance to the colonies during their war with Britain, playing a huge role into the end of the war. With France on their side, and soon after Spain, America would be able to end the war with Britain to continue to obtain their Independence.
It wasn’t until 2 years after Cornwallis surrendered his army that The Treaty of Paris was negotiated between America and Britain. It was said that it was one of the greatest diplomatic victories achieved by the American delegates in history. Independent America was recognized and they gained control of all the land from Canada to Florida and from the Mississippi to the Atlantic Ocean.
Many writings were also published throughout the years of the War for Independence. John Adams’ “ Thoughts on Government” was published, that pushed for a balanced government and would create a structure between the wealthy and the ordinary. There was Abigail Adams who wrote letters to her husband, where she would write her opinions on politics, slavery and the treatment of women. In hopes to influence some of her husbands decisions during the Revolution. The anonymous author of “The People, the Best Governors” was written on the equalities of every man and saying “God gave mankind freedom by nature”. Newspaper editor, Noah Webster, wrote of equal land distribution, stating “Equality was the very soul of a republic.” “The Wealth of Nations” published by Adam Smith in 1776 contained topics of the free market, the economy and