After the Continental Congress declared independence in 1776, thereby severing political relations with Great Britain, it began to fashion new objects and ceremonies of state with which to proclaim the sovereignty of the infant republic. Congress, for example, created an emblematic great seal, celebrated anniversaries of U.S. independence, and implemented robust diplomatic protocols for the reception of foreign ministers. Clothed in Robes of Sovereignty examines the material artifacts, festivities, and rituals by which Congress endeavored not only to assert its political legitimacy and to bolster the war effort, but ultimately to glorify the United States and to win the allegiance of the American people. Congress, however, could not simply impose its creations upon a quiescent public. In fact, as Benjamin H. Irvin demonstrates, the "people out of doors"-including the working poor who rallied in the streets of Philadelphia as well as women, loyalists, Native Americans and other persons not represented in Congress-vigorously contested the trappings of nationhood into which Congress had enfolded them.