In 1776, the thirteen American colonies, refusing to pay unjust taxes, declared their independence from Britain. The resulting years of war are called the American Revolution, but many founding fathers believed the real American Revolution was not the war with Britain, but the revolution in ideas which preceded and caused the war. From 1760 to 1775, many Americans were transformed from loyal subjects into rebels against Britain. Together, the thirteen colonies set out to create something new under the sun, a government which derived its just authority from the consent of the governed. To understand this unparalleled event, it is necessary to examine the character and ideas of eighteenth-century Americans, such as what vision caused them to rebel and how faithfully they followed this vision.