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American Revolution

The American Revolution stands out as one of modern history's few major political and philosophical movements that resulted in an increase in liberty. It asserted, through words and deeds, the equal rights of all individuals to governments dedicated to the protection of their lives, liberties, and pursuits of happiness. As Thomas Jefferson, one of the Revolution's leading statesmen, wrote in 1826, the American independence movement advanced “the free right to the unbounded exercise of reason and freedom of opinion.” The era of the American Revolution embraces three overlapping phases. In the first phase (1763–1776), colonists in British North America rediscovered a rich ideological tradition that emphasized freedom from coercion. In the second phase (1775–1783), self-proclaimed citizens of the new United States waged a war for ...

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