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The consequences of a blurred awareness of the differences between the private and the public to the Revolutionary era Americans are significant to our understandings of their mindset in the way they viewed government:
"Of the nearly 2,800 prosecutions in the Supreme and General Session courts of Massachusetts between 1760 and 1774, over half included sexual and religious offences, such as fornication and using profanity. ... Royal
governors did not have legislative policies and assemblies did not enact legislative programs. ... In William Nelson's survey of the Massachusetts General Court in 1761..., he could find 'only three acts that were arguably legislative in the sense that they changed law or made new law.'" (from Wood's essay)
Today, we take the differences regarding the private and the public as well as the separation of powers to be as natural as breathing. So, we can see a major disconnect in the way we think about who we are and in the way they thought about who they were. I mean as individual members of and in society, it is next to impossible to square our thinking with theirs. We truly are a separate People from those of our Founding generation. But, our journey began in those crucial days of the republic.
So, are we a different We The People?