by Andrew P. Napolitano
“Government requires make-believe. Make believe that the king is divine, make believe that he can do no wrong or make believe that the voice of the people is the voice of God. Make believe that the people have a voice or make believe that the representatives of the people are the people. Make believe that governors are the servants of the people. Make believe that all men are created equal or make believe that they are not.” — Edmund S. Morgan (1916-2013)
In the summer of 1776, revolution was in the air. Congress was meeting in Philadelphia, and it was impatient. Bloody skirmishes between colonial militias and British troops were upsetting the countryside. More British troops were on their way. Congress sensed it needed to do something. It wanted to vote for secession from Great Britain, and it needed a compelling document setting forth the reasons for doing so.
Historians have estimated from reading letters, pamphlets, sermons, essays, newspaper editorials and speeches from that era that only about one-third of the colonists favored using force to secede. But that one-third whipped the winds of change.