only a minority of colonists favored indepence (permanent separation) from England. I know, and I’ve been able to find links that support, that about 40-45% of colonists supported the war once it had begun. But, I can’t find a link with any data about colonists’ sentiment toward independence.
Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” is credited with turning American sentiment towards independence, which indicates to me that their sentiments were turned in another direction prior. In addition, “Common Sense” wasn’t published until nine months after Lexington and Concorde.
Does anyone have a source to offer that might shed some light on what percent of colonists favored independence (permanent separation) from England prior to Paine’s pamphlet? Thanks.
Britt: It is generally accepted that about 25 to 33 percent of American colonists favored separation in 1775, about the same were against and the rest were in the middle. Paine helped swing that middle half to third in favor of separation.