Making “the Cause” Common

This is how the common cause argument changed after the war began. And it was a process deeply involving many of the same men who would write about natural rights and men being created equal. I argue that that this darker valence of the “common cause” argument was a foundational narrative to the creation of the United States: Fear & prejudice was how they explained the Revolution in official proclamations. It’s at the heart of the Declaration of Independence – the final grievance, the deal breaker, is about the King’s employing slaves & Indians.

Lecture Description

How did the thirteen colonies come together to declare independence together? In this lecture, Parkinson shows that the role race played has been underestimated in the achievement of American independence. Stories about British officials “inciting” slave insurrections and Native hostility were ubiquitous as soon as the Revolutionary War began in 1775. Patriot leaders like Franklin, Jefferson, and Adams seized upon these stories about race and crafted them as a reason why America needed to leave the empire. Race UNITED the states in 1776.


Jefferson Revolutionary and Early National

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