I will say it, loud and clear: the freest society on earth in 1775 was British North America, with the exception of the slave system. Anyone who was not a slave had incomparable freedom.
Jefferson wrote these words in the Declaration of Independence:The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.
I can think of no more misleading political assessment uttered by any leader in the history of the United States. No words having such great impact historically in this nation were less true. No political bogeymen invoked by any political sect as "the liar of the century" ever said anything as verifiably false as these words.
I think North would have a point; except that hyperbole is an accepted rhetorical device, which is the way I read Jefferson's words. But I would agree, if not given a hyperbolic reading, it does seem quite ridiculous.