Declaration of Independence

Yesterday was July 4th and the United States of America celebrated the anniversary of its freedom from the rule of King George III. I took note of the posts on social media yesterday, to see if anyone mentioned the reasons behind the split from colonies to independent rule.

Sadly I only saw mentions of taxes (some seem to think the Boston Tea Party was the only reason for the split), some individuals posted their belief that it was because the founding fathers wanted to found a Christian nation, and so forth. However,  the NPR tweeted the list of true reasons, as listed in the Declaration, only to be attacked for doing so by Americans who did not recognize the words.[1] Therefore, I thought that a mini history lesson was in order today concerning the reasons listed for the United States wanting to be an independent nation of its own rule.

King George III was born in 1738 and ascended to the throne in 1760. He let England through the Seven Years’ War and Napoleonic France. [2]However, he failed to win when it came to the American Revolution. The founding father of the United States had basically had enough of the tyranny they claimed King George III imposed upon the colonies. Therefore,  in the Declaration of Independence, the founding fathers laid out their grievances with the King. They were as follows:

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.[3]

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.[4]

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.[5]

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.[6]

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.[7]

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.[8]

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.[9]

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.[10]

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.[11]

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.[12]

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.[13]

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.[14]

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:[15]

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:[16]

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:[17]

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:[18]

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:[19]

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:[20]

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offenses[21]

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighboring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:[22]

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:[23]

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.[24]

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.[25]

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.[26]

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.[27]

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.[28]

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes, and conditions.[29]

     As for taxes, yes the colonies were upset with the actions of the Sugar Act (1764),[30] the Stamp Tax (1765),[31] the Townshend Acts (1767),[32] and the Tea Act (1773),[33] which Parliment had passed in order to get money from the colonies to cover the costs of the French-Indian Wars[34] that had led England to the brink of bankruptcy. However, as you can see by the clear outline in The Declaration of Independence that there were so many more reasons than taxes involved, and zero mention of religion.

So, next year when you’re celebrating your independence from a rule of a tyrant, remember all of the reasons our founding fathers fought for that freedom you so enjoy.

You may also enjoy reading about the Loyalists during the American Revolution by clicking here.

Footnotes
[1]“NPR Tweeted The Declaration Of Independence, And Trump Supporters Flipped Out,” HuffPost, July 5, 2017, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/npr-declaration-of-independence_us_595c6525e4b0da2c7325bd50.
[2]“George III – British History – HISTORY.com,” HISTORY.com, accessed July 5, 2017, http://www.history.com/topics/british-history/george-iii.
[3]“Declaration of Independence: A Transcription,” National Archives, November 1, 2015, https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration-transcript.
[4]Ibid.
[5]Ibid.
[6]Ibid.
[7]Ibid.
[8]Ibid.
[9]Ibid.
[10]Ibid.
[11]Ibid.
[12]Ibid.
[13]Ibid.
[14]Ibid.
[15]Ibid.
[16]Ibid.
[17]Ibid.
[18]Ibid.
[19]Ibid.
[20]Ibid.
[21]Ibid.
[22]Ibid.
[23]Ibid.
[24]Ibid.
[25]Ibid.
[26]Ibid.
[27]Ibid.
[28]Ibid.
[29]Ibid.
[30]“The Sugar Act,” US History.org, accessed July 5, 2017, http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/related/sugaract.html.
[31]“A Summary of the 1765 Stamp Act,” The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, accessed July 5, 2017, http://www.history.org/history/teaching/tchcrsta.cfm.
[32]“Townshend Acts | Great Britain [1767],” Encyclopedia Britannica, accessed July 5, 2017, https://www.britannica.com/event/Townshend-Acts.
[33]“The Tea Act | Boston Tea Party Facts | 1773,” Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, accessed July 5, 2017, https://www.bostonteapartyship.com/the-tea-act.
[34]“Ten Facts About George Washington and the French & Indian War,” George Washington’s Mount Vernon, accessed July 5, 2017, http://www.mountvernon.org/george-washington/french-indian-war/ten-facts-about-george-washington-and-the-french-indian-war/?gclid=Cj0KEQjwnPLKBRC-j7nt1b7OlZwBEiQAv8lMLOvwHsKL6lO_FI7Qo3g0NH8yRmca3GW1NQrOlm6nY5QaAoio8P8HAQ.
“A Summary of the 1765 Stamp Act.” The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Accessed July 5, 2017. http://www.history.org/history/teaching/tchcrsta.cfm.
“Declaration of Independence: A Transcription.” National Archives, November 1, 2015. https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration-transcript.
“George III – British History – HISTORY.com.” HISTORY.com. Accessed July 5, 2017. http://www.history.com/topics/british-history/george-iii.
“NPR Tweeted The Declaration Of Independence, And Trump Supporters Flipped Out.” HuffPost, July 5, 2017. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/npr-declaration-of-independence_us_595c6525e4b0da2c7325bd50.
“The Sugar Act.” US History.org. Accessed July 5, 2017. http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/related/sugaract.html.
“The Tea Act | Boston Tea Party Facts | 1773.” Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum. Accessed July 5, 2017. https://www.bostonteapartyship.com/the-tea-act.
“Townshend Acts | Great Britain [1767].” Encyclopedia Britannica. Accessed July 5, 2017. https://www.britannica.com/event/Townshend-Acts.
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