This work examines the political thought of Jean-Jacques Rousseau in the areas of nature, human nature, society, and political development. It traces the influence and non-influence of Rousseau in the writings of Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, the Connecticut Wits, Royall Tyler, and Hugh Henry Brackenridge. It shows where these writers overlap and where they disagree. Applicable quotations from the original French of Rousseau's works Emile, Du Contrat Social, Discours sur l'Inegalite, etc., (with English translations) are compared with notable examples from the above-mentioned authors. Based upon these comparisons, the author makes conclusions concerning the political outcome of the American Revolution and the ensuing development of an American identity. The book contains a summary in English and German as well as an appendix concerning Rousseau's Romanticism and how it influenced the development of American colonial music.