How does this 1972 film, based on the Second Continental Congress’ deliberations on Independence, reflect the times of its production, as well as the actual events surrounding the adoption of the Declaration? Does the effort to make the founding fathers more human work? Does the film accurately reflect the motivations of men like John Dickenson? Why does it simplistically portray some of them as primarily wanting to protect their wealth or land holdings? How does the film dramatize the debate over and excision of Thomas Jefferson’s section on slavery, and the rationale for that deletion? How does the language of the preamble of the Declaration illustrate the longer term strategy of Jefferson and others in regard to eliminating the slave trade? How does the story of Jack Warner’s and President Nixon’s concerns about one song illustrate the politics of the early 1970s? How did this musical film inspire Lin-Manuel Miranda to create the play Hamilton?

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