This image provided by the National Archives shows the 19th century engraving "Drafting the Declaration of Independence in 1776, 1859" by Alonzo Chappel which depicts of the the committee chosen to draft a declaration of independence. The five members are, from left, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Philip Livingston and Roger Sherman. One of the nation’s founding fathers -- but never president -- Franklin was born to a soapmaker and earned his wealth as printer, publisher and inventor. (Alonzo Chappel/National Archives via AP)
Andrew P. Napolitano
Historians have estimated from reading letters, pamphlets, sermons, essays, newspaper editorials and speeches from that era that only about one-third of the colonists favored using force to secede. But that one-third whipped the winds of change.
At hand was the decision to revolt and to make an understandable argument in its support. Congress represented the radicals who wanted the British government gone. Neither the one-third of the public that wanted it to stay nor the one-third that didn’t care had a voice in Philadelphia.