Public Program, Author Talk American States of Nature: The Origins of Independence, 1761-1775 22 May 2019.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Mark Somos There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

In the British colonies, the phrase “state of nature,” or the condition of human beings before or without political association, appeared thousands of times in juridical, theological, medical, political, economic, and other texts from 1630 to 1810. But by the 1760s, a distinctively American state-of-nature discourse started to emerge. In laws, resolutions, petitions, sermons, broadsides, pamphlets, letters, and diaries, the American states of nature came to justify independence at least as much as colonial formulations of liberty, property, and individual rights did. The founding generation transformed this flexible concept into a powerful theme that shapes their legacy to this day. No constitutional history of the Revolution can be written without it.

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