Colonists in America Essay
Several factors influenced the colonists in America to initiate the revolutionary war and declaration of independence to Great Britain’s crown. To start with, the parliament (England’s Congress) was implementing laws that were placing heavy taxes among the colonists. In addition to the charges, a variety of acts were passed as the colonial government made efforts to generate more money from the Americans. Great Britain was passing the law to react to the losses it incurred during the French and Indian war that had been fought in North America. The war left Great Britain with a vast debt, and King George hoped that he could get money from the colonists to settle the debt. England’s Congress argued that the Americans were supposed to support them financially since the war was fought protect them from the French living in Canada. However, most Americans disagreed with the parliament’s arguments. The colonists believed that Great Britain had fought the war for the benefit of increasing its empire and wealth. The fact that most members of the parliament lived in England made the colonists develop a negative attitude towards the taxes. The Americans felt that the lawmakers could not understand their needs and the struggles they were facing to pay the taxes. The colonists also resisted the charges since they were not represented in the parliament and were not allowed to vote for members of the parliament. The colonists used the cry of “no taxation without representation” as their primary policy against the illegal and unfair taxes. A letter by George Mason to Richard Henry Lee illustrates the resistance the colonists developed against the payment of fees. In the letter, George states that they would not allow any man or any set of men to take money from them without their consent of the consent of their representatives (George Mason’s letter to Richard Henry Lee).
In the year 1773, in an attempt to evade the payment of the taxes, the colonists in Boston, Massachusetts had thrown shipments of tea into the harbor. The colonists were also reacting to the importation of tea from Britain. The parliament responded quickly to this act and passed a series of laws to punish Massachusetts. The coercive laws enacted to curb this unrest were so harsh to the extent that the colonists called them “intolerable.” For example, one of the acts by the lawmakers was to discontinue the business operations, landing and shipping of goods with the harbor of Boston in the province of Massachusetts. Some British officers enforcing the law were very corrupt and demanded huge fees and seized the colonist’s property. The Boston Tea Party aroused all the other colonies to fight against the intolerable acts. In August 1774, the colonies signed the Williamsburg Resolution. The resolution aimed to revolt the actions of King George and his administration by stopping the exportation of tobacco to England until all the taxes on imported goods were repealed. Tobacco was the most profitable crop for the colony and stopping its exportation could significantly affect the profit generated by Great Britain. The colonists residing in Virginia supported the Continental Congress’ boycotts and anti-British propaganda by sighing a pledge of loyalty to the Congress (The Boston Port Act).
King George, his administration and his royal governor in North Carolina reacted to the rebellion and defiance created by the Boston Tea Party revolution. On August 23, 1775, King George III wrote a letter to the civil and military officers in North America. The letter stated that some dangerous and ill designing men had started to incite the diverse subjects in his colonies and plantations. He noted that the people had forgotten their allegiance that they had vowed to his administration and had started an open and avowed rebellion against Great Britain’s administration. He said that the colonists had committed various disorderly acts such as disturbance of public peace and obstruction of justice. He further stated the Americans had oppressed the loyal Britons living in North America and were levying war against Great Britain. King George III and the Privy Council issued a proclamation declaring that the suppression of the rebellions. The declaration stated that the law allowed the subjects loyal to England and the civil and military officers to use force against the uprising (King George III’s response to the colonist’s acts of rebellion and defiance). The king commanded the officers and loyal subjects to use excessive force to withstand and suppress any rebellion started by the Americans and disclose all the traitorous conspiracies against his crown and dignity.
Despite the king’s commands, the American colonists continued to fight for their rights and freedom. In the midst of the war, the king’s governor had fled, and the colonists issued the Declaration of Independence to proclaim their liberty from Great Britain’s leadership. The painting by John Trumbull depicts the presentation of the Declaration of independence to the Continental Congress. The picture shows the committee of men who drafted the declaration. The committee consisted of Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Robert R. Livingston, and Rodger Sherman (John Trumbull’s painting ). The declaration comprised of three major categories. The first part of the declaration addressed people’s rights, and it stated that all people should have unalienable rights. The second part discussed the oppression the colonists had faced during King Georges administration and how their rights of self-governance had been violated. In the last portion of the declaration, the colonists argued their right to separate from Great Britain.
George Mason’s letter to Richard Henry Lee
The Boston Port Act: (Part of the Intolerable Acts)
King George III’s response to the colonist’s acts of rebellion and defiance
John Trumbull’s painting