WASHINGTON—Upending generations of established scholarship, a report published Monday by the American Historical Association has revealed the Declaration of Independence was only intended to be a vehicle for the Founding Fathers to vent in private about various grievances they had. “According to newly uncovered records of their meetings, the men who assembled in the summer of 1776 at what we now call Independence Hall were in fact just using the declaration as a way to blow off some steam,” said noted historian and society president Mary Lindemann, explaining that a secretarial error resulted in the document being sent aboard the packet ship Mercury to London, where the bold pronouncement was interpreted as a declaration of war. “The founders had a lot they wanted to get off their chest about the crown taxing them without their consent, quartering troops among them, taking them captive on the high seas, and so forth. But they never imagined King George III would actually read all these disparaging things they were saying about him. I’m sure Thomas Jefferson would shudder to think that, two centuries after his death, an entire nation continues to read what was essentially a long diary entry over and over again.” The report also found evidence that the entire Second Continental Congress, convened from 1775 to 1781, was viewed by those in attendance as nothing more than a safe space where everyone could just talk.
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