The Declaration of Independence in Historical Context American State Papers, Petitions, Proclamations, and Letters of the Delegates to the First National Congresses Barry Alan Shain

Publication date:
01 Jul 2014
Yale University Press
784 pages: 254 x 178 x 46mm
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Political science professor Barry Shain has collected 174 letters, papers, petitions, and proclamations from the years directly preceding the creation of the Declaration of Independence that challenge many of the dominant narratives that shape contemporary understanding of this all-important document. Rather than arising from strong philosophical convictions and a clearly perceived vision of the future, the Declaration, as these writings demonstrate, was more the result of chance occurrences and practical considerations, and reflective of a society less rebellion-minded and far more monarchically inclined than most Americans today have been taught to believe.

Barry Alan Shain is professor of political science and chair of the department at Colgate University.

“Exhaustively edited and attractively presented . . . the book will stand as a lasting scholarly resource.”—Chronicles