240 years ago, a group of men met in a room in Philadelphia. The weather was somewhat hot by today’s standards. The room was not exactly air conditioned, there was no internet, Facebook or Twitter to record what happened there and they were taking a huge risk being there.

240 years ago in Philadelphia, these men took a huge risk. It was a risk that was so great that they could have been arrested for their actions (which would have been the lesser evil) and hung for treason. They had just finished listening to the reading of a document that was written by a young Virginian named Thomas Jefferson. What was in that document told the world their side of the story.

It was all of one page, saying that the British crown was not playing by the rules or playing nice. These men, white, middle-class (some wealthy and owned slaves and or land), looked at their situation and chose to do what was not only in their best interest, they were doing it in the name of the people that sent there there. The Declaration of Independence, written in a way that at first excluded some (women, indentured servants, slaves whether they were freed or not and native Americans) spoke of a ruler that was called a tyrant even though he was not called by name directly. 1,341 words long, which would probably take at best 10-20 tries on Twitter in today’s standards, called the British crown out on the carpet. It was at that point in time the colonies went Brexit on the British crown.

Granted, they were taking a risk. A HUGE risk. This was going to be a first. This was the canary going into the mine. No one knew what was going to happen. If ever there were a bunch of risk takers, it would be this group of men, who knew if they succeeded, they would be able to decide their own fates and not have it decided for them; if they failed, they risked loss of property, fortune and loss of life at the hands of a gallows in England. The founding fathers decided to go all in, pushing their chips in the middle of the table. There was NO turning back, no “maybe I’ll worry about it later.” They all agreed to affix their names to the Declaration of Indepdence in a room that had no air conditioning, no internet and no cell phones. Can you imagine if John Hancock had tweeted his somewhat large signature?

240 years ago, a group of men that thought the British crown was not being fair to them, not letting them speak for themselves or represent themselves, went Brexit on a king that had his own agenda. Facts were going to be submitted to a candid World that day. A Prince, whose Character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the Ruler of a free People. They tried several times to reason with George III but to no avail. Yes, the 13 Colonies had just called an audible and gone off script. They may have had their squabbles about self-rule, slavery and other issues but on this day 240 years ago, they were of one mind, one heartbeat.

They chose to go all in that day. And while we as a nation still has flaws that need to be worked on and exposed, we are the better for it. They chose to go Brexit before it was cool to go Brexit.