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1776 chronicled the epic times and critical historical events on a grand scale. McCullough told of the lives of three great American Presidents: John Adams, Theodore Roosevelt and Harry Truman. He recounted the massive manpower efforts and political will required to construct the Brooklyn Bridge and the Panama Canal. This book covers one year, albeit a critical year, in the conflict between the world's greatest power, Great Britain, and the freedom-seeking colonies that would ultimately succeed England as the lodestar of democracy in the world. 1776 chronicles the events leading up to the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the events immediately following the Philadelphia signing. The narrative begins on October26, 1775, on the streets of London during the spectacle and splendor of the opening of Parliament. George III, King of England, is scheduled to address that body on the thorny issue of war in America. The debate that would occur on that fall day in the House of Commons carries with it an eerie similarity to speeches and debates that have occurred in other chambers, at other important times in history. Even today, similar speeches and similar arguments surrounding events in Iraq can be heard in the House of Commons. The King made clear his commitment to defeat the rebellion. He would commit the necessary soldiers, navy and even foreign mercenaries to the effort. "Among the many unavoidable ill consequences of this rebellion," he concluded, "none affects me more sensibly than the extraordinary burden which it must create to my faithful servants." Others did not agree. John Wilkes, Lord Mayor of London, rose to speak in opposition. The battle with the colonies was "unjust…fatal and ruinous to our country," he declared. "Should we not succeed… we shall be considered as the most implacable enemies, an eternal separation will follow, and the grandeur of the British Empire pass away." On behalf of the King and the government Lord North concluded the...
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