It’s Tuesday, and that means a new Excursions from George H. Smith. In this week’s essay, Smith begins a series on the Declaration of Independence by examining colonial reaction to its list of grievances, as well as the political principles informing its drafting. “Few Americans today are familiar with the Declaration’s grievances, but to most readers in 1776 they were far more important than the political principles summarized in the second paragraph,” Smith writes. > Many critics of independence, including some American loyalists, agreed with the political principles articulated in the second paragraph. Their problem was the same as the one that haunted Van Schaack, namely: Did the actions of the British government, however unwise or unjust they may have been, signify a deliberate design to extinguish American freedom? Read the whole thing here.