Photograph depicting the portrait of Thomas Paine, copy by Auguste Millière, circa 1876 (original: 1792). Maintained by the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. Accession number: NPG 897. Image online courtesy Wikimedia Commons.
When in the Course of human events,
it becomes necessary for one people
to dissolve the political bands which
have connected them with another...
Declaration of Independence - July 4, 1776
These are the times
that try men’s souls
What was trying "men’s souls" was British rule. The time had come for America to be free.
But cutting the ties that bound thirteen colonies to England would not happen without a revolt. No one ever gives up a treasure without a fight. Especially not a king.
Many colonists, however, believed their cause was supported by a power much higher and greater than King George. Those beliefs helped to fan the flames of revolutionary fervor.