Who was John Dickinson?

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ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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John Dickinson is a little known but important founding father of the United States. He was an attorney who could express the ideals of the Americas in both essay and letters. His "Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania" were widely read both in America and in Europe. He helped create the idea that the colonists were Americans first , not simply New Yorkers or Virginians, etc. At one time, he was considered "the most popular man in the Colonies" but he did not immediately support the Revolutionary War. Instead, he believed that there were other non-violent ways to change English attitudes towards the colonists. However, he recognized war was inevitable and became a Pennsylvania delegate to the First Continental Congress and when the Declaration of Independence was first presented, he spoke against it, and voted "no". He abstained on the final vote and eventually left public service for a while. Finally, when the First Constitutional Convention was help, Dickinson became a delegate from Delaware and worked hard to create a stronger central government. After the Constitution was written, he worked hard to get it ratified by the states. Then he retired from public life "as one of the founders of a new republic" surrounded by monarchies.

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