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Posted July 27, 2013
Prelude to the Declaration of Independence
Beeman does an outstanding job in taking the reader, step-by-step, from the beginning of Britain's obnoxious (to the colonists) taxes to the signing of the Declaration of Independence. He explains how the colonies are not united, not even up until the 59th minute of the 11th hour, that independence is the right way to go. Southern colonists felt no compassion for Boston and New England, and the Quakers of Pennsylvania were in no frame of mind for war or to leave the fold of the British Empire. He provides insight to the various founders, such as, John and Sam Adams, Roger Sherman, John Dickinson, Benjamin Franklin, and the Rutledges of South Carolina, as well as others. He explains that declaring independence was not an easy task, nor did it occur over night. Although the Second Continental Congress was willing to declare with nine states, the Congress knew that for the world to support the actions of the colonies, for others to take the "new nation" seriously, unanimity was a must; yet, that did not occur until the 59th minute of the 11th hour, when New York finally fell in with its sister colonies. The story that Beeman tells is much more comprehensive than what we were told in most American history classes. We are led to believe that the signers all signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, yet that is not true, and Beeman tells us why, and why the last signer did not sign until November 1776. The book is a lively read, an easy read. Very informative, it is truly a primer to the two years immediately leading to the birth certificate of our nation, the Declaration of Independence.
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