A majority of American colonists were slow to accept the notion of independence from Britain. The drift toward a full break with the mother country was accelerated by the following:
- Early military successes (Lexington, Concord, Ticonderoga, Crown Point, etc.) caused many Americans to believe that they could win
- The British decision to shut down American trade angered colonial business interests and consumers
- The decision to employ mercenary soldiers, the Hessians, led many Americans to question their long-held loyalty to the king
- The efforts of American propagandists, particularly Tom Paine's Common Sense, brought the question of independence into the public arena.