1776 Essay Research Paper 1776Broadway s version

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1776 Essay, Research Paper 1776 Broadway s version of the events leading up to the signing of the Declaration of Independence is portrayed in 1776. It has representatives of the original thirteen colonies that gathered in the swealtering heat of a Philadelphia summer as the Continental Congress argued. Within itself, it is divided over the question of American Independence. The men have grown tired of listening to John Adams’ repeated pleas for Independence. In fact, Adams himself had grown weary of the delegates’ ability to agree on anything, let alone an issue as important as Independence. Adams explains his situation, and tells his frustrations to his wife, through letters and imagined conversations. Adams and Ben Franklin ultimately decide that, since Adams’ is only

looked upon as “obnoxious and disliked”, the only way to get a resolution of independence introduced to Congress, is to persuade another delgate, Virginia s Richard Henry Lee, to make the proposal. Lee returns from Virgina with the proposal, opening up the issue to debate. Adams argues with Pennsylvania s John Dickinson, who is strongly opposed to independence. After much battle, the proposal gets put up for vote, but not before Dickinson insures that the vote must be unanimous. Adams and Franklin suggest the writing of a “declaration”, to spell out “their goals and aims” and “reasons for separation”. The Members of Congress assigned to the Declaration Committee (Franklin, Adams, Roger Sherman of CT, and Robert Livingston of NY) avoid writing the document, and

elect the well written Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson, however, is unable to concentrate starting the document because he is thinking for the young bride he left behind in Virginia 6 months earlier. Adams calls for Mrs. Jefferson to come to Philadelphia, believing that “the sooner his problem is solved, the sooner our problem will be solved.” Dickinson, meanwhile, tries to keep the opposition to Adams in tact while, General George Washinton’s courierrepeatedly brings discouraging dispatches from the battlefront. The Declaration finally written, Adams and Franklin convince Jefferson of the genius and strength of his words, but are quickly disheartened to see Congress pick the document apart with no remorse. Jefferson agrees to smaller, insignificant criticisms of the

Declaration, but stands his ground when the abolition of slavery is unimpassionately challenged by South Carolina’s Edward Rutledge. With half of the Congress walking out with Rutledge, Adams’ dreams of independence appear to be over. However, one by one, individual delegates begin to come around to Adams’ side. In a major compromise, Jefferson resentfuly agrees to remove the slavery clause in order to win back the two Carolinas. A split Delaware vote goes back in favor of Adams when a dying Caesar Rodney is brought to Philadelphia from his death bed. Pennsylvania becomes the last step for Adams. While Franklin is clearly on his side, Dickinson is against him. The other Pennsylvania delegate, the (follow the crowd) James Wilson, has long been on Dickinson s side. But when

the final vote takes place, and it is Wilson’s vote that will make Independence either live or die, Wilson s vote with Franklin in order to “remain one of many” rather than “be remembered as the man who prevented American Independence”.