Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: While a martial spirit attended the opening of the Second Continental Congress, there were deep divisions among the representatives about whether the Congress should pursue reconciliation with Britain or choose a separate course for the nation. Chief among those independence skeptics was John Dickinson, author of Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania. He represented one part of what was clearly a Congress that was gripped by directional schizophrenia. While preparing for war it hoped for peace and reconciliation before both Britain and America stepped off the precipice into blood and fire. Dickenson was not happy. He wanted reconciliation but the grounds for such an enterprise did not seem to exist. It was clear the British had engaged in "the butchery of unarmed Americans." ‘Should we recommend affection for the monarch or the mother country?’ “No. While we revere and love our mother country, her sword is opening our veins.”

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