The men who signed the American Declaration of Independence 230 years ago were determined to build a bold new nation in the world. "These United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States," they proclaimed. "All political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved." They got their wish. For more than a century, the new United
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States of America fixed its attention westward, away from the Old World and toward its own expansion. But the divorce was never intended to be total. Much of the Declaration...