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Dickinson and the Declaration

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Early American intellectual firmly opposed independence. On today's History File, Cam Edwards tells the story of Pennsylvanian John Dickinson, a delegate to the Second Continental Congress. Despite Dickinson's support of the individual right to bear arms, he was convinced that independence from Britain could only lead to anarchy. Edwards reads his July 1, 1776, speech of opposition to the Declaration of Independence and argues that the American people have proved Dickinson wrong by showing that they can effectively rule themselves.