John Adams And the Declaration of Independence

The reason to preach July 4, 1776 to 1787 is the fact that it is not merely historical fact but a recounting of Christian faith lived over a period of 150 years. This gives some explanation as to why it is not possible to reduce the events of this period to economics, sociology, psychology, etc.  With regard to this point, Gordon S. Wood, in his “The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787,“ wrote:

“The American Revolution was not a common event,” John Adams wrote to the newspaper editor Hezekiah Niles in 1818. “Its effects and consequences have already been awful over a great part of the globe.” Adams then inquired: “But what do we mean by the American Revolution?” For Adams, the revolution was not just the Revolutionary War. The war had accelerated the revolution, to be sure, and the break with Britain enabled it to develop more freely. But the revolution itself involved a change in thought—new ideas about who “the people” were, how they interacted with each other and how they related to their government. “This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments and affections of the people,” Adams claimed, “was the real American Revolution.” Continue reading “John Adams And the Declaration of Independence”