• The Farmer Refuted

     |  Natural Rights/American Revolution

    The Farmer Refuted The Farmer Refuted 1 Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804) When Loyalist writings began to appear in New York newspapers in 1775, nineteen-year-old Hamilton responded with an essay defending the colonists' right of revolution. Still a student at King's College, he followed up with this second pamphlet, expanding his argument on the purpose of legitimate government. February 23, 1775 I shall, for the present, pass over to that part of your pamphlet, in which you endeavor to establish the supremacy of the British Parliament over America. After a proper eclaircissement of this point, I shall draw such inferences, as will sap the foundation of every thing you have offered. The first thing that presents itself is a wish, that "I ...
  • A Summary View of the Rights of British America

     |  Natural Rights/American Revolution

    A Summary View of the Rights of British America A Summary View of the Rights of British America 1 Thomas Jefferson Jefferson began his public career in 1769 in the Virginia House of Burgesses, the colonial legislature. British implementation of the Coercive Acts of 1774 (also known as the Intolerable Acts)—passed in response to the Boston Tea Party—prompted the "Summary View," Jefferson's first publication. Written for Virginians who were choosing delegates to the First Continental Congress, it laid the groundwork for later appeals by a "free people, claiming their rights as derived from the laws of nature." July 1774 Resolved, that it be an instruction to the said deputies when assembled in General Congress with the deputies from the other ...
  • Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved

     |  Natural Rights/American Revolution

    Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved 1 James Otis (1725-1783) Otis rose to prominence in 1761, after he gave a courtroom speech opposing the Writs of Assistance—blanket warrants issued by the British for searching suspect property. He edited that speech into this essay three years later, after the passage of the Sugar Act. Its arguments contain the seed of the American Revolution—an appeal to natural rights applied against particular abuses of political power. Struck by lightning in 1783, Otis did not live beyond the Revolution. But John Adams remarked that he had never known a man "whose service for any ten years of his life were so important and essential to the cause of his country as those ...
  • Common Sense

     |  Natural Rights/American Revolution

    Common Sense Common Sense 1 Thomas Paine (1737-1809) Published anonymously in January 1776 by an Englishman who had come to Philadelphia two years before, Common Sense became the most published work of the founding era. Printed over half a million times in a nation of three million people, it made a passionate case for liberty and against monarchy. Unpopular in later life for his attacks on Christianity, Paine will always be remembered for this pamphlet—a pamphlet often said to have launched the American Revolution. January 10, 1776 On the Origin and Design of Government in General, With Concise Remarks on the English Constitution Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them ...
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