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The conventional story of the American colonists` revolt against Britain holds that the founders of the United States established a form of government that, although flawed by its leaders` failure to recognize the rights of women and African Americans, was nevertheless unsurpassed in its promise of human equality. There is, however, a cynical counterstory, which details the founders` lust for property and their crass manipulation of the colonial population, and characterizes leaders like Thomas Jefferson as having wielded promises of equality merely as deceptive tools, discarded once the Revolution was won, and as having deliberately allowed the United States to be governed by a small, powerful elite. Both of these stories assume that a homogeneous revolutionary leadership employed an equally homogeneous egalitarian discourse to justify its actions. Even a cursory examination of the public discourse from the period, however, makes it clear that the leadership was anything but homogeneous in its discourse, and that overall the relative emphasis placed on the words "liberty" and "property" was far greater than that placed on "equality".