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Declaration of Independence

OVERVIEW
READ THE DECLARATION
Drafting the Declaration
ABOUT THE SIGNERS
Women Behind the Signers
FASCINATING FACTS
DATES TO REMEMBER
Sons of Liberty
The Case for Revolution
The Five Riders
Two Great Thinkers
Famous Loyalists
The Shot Heard Round the World
THE FOURTH OF JULY
Treaty of Paris
True Copy of Declaration
DECLARATION QUIZ

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Voices of the Revolution: Two Great Thinkers

The Founding Fathers were a group of extraordinary thinkers and brilliant men, but throughout the course of American Constitutional History, there were a number of other writers, philosophers, and revolutionaries who helped champion or support the case for American Independence. Two prominent thinkers, one directly and one indirectly, played a pivotal role in the founding of the United States. These men were Thomas Paine and John Locke.

Portrait of Thomas Paine
Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine was an English-born political activist, author, and revolutionary who came to America to support the cause against the British. As the author of two highly influential pamphlets, The American Crisis and Common Sense, at the start of the American Revolution, he aimed to inspire the colonists to declare independence from Britain. Although his work influenced the Founding Fathers to some degree, he had a much greater impact on the common people, who, after reading these two works, became much more supportive of the Revolutionary cause. Although the push for American independence was already burning when Paine was writing, he certainly helped to kindle the flame.

Read His Works

Common Sense

The Rights of Man

The American Crisis


Portrait of John Locke
John Locke

John Locke

John Locke (29 August 1632 - 28 October 1704) was an English philosopher and physician regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers, especially concerning the development of political philosophy. His writings influenced Voltaire and Rousseau, but most importantly, the American revolutionaries. Thomas Jefferson used the thoughts first penned by John Locke while writing the Declaration of Independence. The phrase "life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness," was an idea first considered by Locke in his Two Treatises on Government.

Read His Works

Essay Concerning Human Understanding

Two Treaties of Government





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