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This essay is based on the Second Annual Ginsburg-Satell Lecture on American Character and Identity delivered on June 5, 2019, hosted and co-sponsored by the Museum of the American Revolution. Click here to read the lecture.
In this report, Pulitzer Prizewinning historian Walter A. McDougall explores the nature of the crisis that led to the split between Britain and the colonies between 1763 and 1776, with emphasis on Benjamin Franklin’s role as the colonies’ principal agent in London during those years. He was an avid British patriot who tried to reconcile Parliament and the colonies until the very last year. What happened and why?