Historian Kevin Phillips, a well regarded political analyst, challenges the notion that the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 was the "birthday" of American independence. Instead, the real excitement went down in 1775: colonial legislators rousted royal governors from power, Congress assumed executive powers, and local Patriot Committees showed Tory merchants (and their British-made goods) the door. Colonial militia scored key wins, including those at Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill, throughout 1775. By December, only Boston remained under British control; ink on paper in 1776 simply formalized the reality of American autonomy. For an engaging and "impressively authoritative" (Kirkus Reviews
) reassessment of the American Revolution, put 1775
on your reading calendar.