Essay Sample on Declaration of Independence: Birth of US Freedom

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1731 Words
Date:  2023-01-03


The declaration of independence is one of the vital documents in the history of the United States. The document was endorsed on July 4, 1776, by the continental congress. The document proclaimed the split-up of thirteen North American British colonies from Great Britain. The document clarified that the Congress had solidly resolved on July 2 through the show of hands of 12 colonies that the joint colonies had the right to be at liberty and independent states. The final parting was officially chosen on July 4 even though July 4 is the day on which the declaration of independence was approved and is feted in the United States as a national holiday. The declaration of independence announced the birth of a new nation. Various factors led to the adoption of the Declaration of Independence from 1756-1776 which include mistreatments, dictatorship, taxation, and killings.

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The colonists felt the need to declare independence from Great Britain due to various reasons. First, they thought that the British government was mistreating them. The king did not listen to their needs. He was a dictator who ruled over the people instead of listening to them. Numerous laws affected the colonists. They had no representative in parliament who would vote on or discuss the laws. The English people had their representatives who would vote or discuss laws that were going to affect them. However, the colonists had no voice in the British government. People in the colonies were not happy with the British rule since they had no say in their government. They paid taxes in spite of having no say in the administration. The declaration of independence abridged the drives for pursuing independence (Armitage 160)

The period from 1757-1776 is considered to be the seven years of war leading to the American Revolution. The seven years of war represented the pivotal turning point in the British-colonial dealings. The accord of Paris that occurred in 1763 endorsed Britain to had undoubted control over the shipping trade, control of the seas and have dominion over a huge part of North America. However, the victory was also a great challenge for the British government. It had borrowed a huge sum of money to sponsor the war from the Dutch and French. The national debt was at PS133 million by 1763. The government sought to address this issue by imposing huge import duties on commodities such as sugar and Tobacco. It also imposed massive sales tax on goods such as beer, spirits, and salt. Taxation became a huge burden on people since the strategy used was unequal. Further, the government needed to expand so that it could collect the revenues successfully. The colonists complained due to high debts and tensed government controls.

The colonial congresses located in Massachusetts, as well as some other colonies, failed to support the war in 1756 to 1757 by refusing raise taxes or provide military until the royal governors accepted to surrender control over military selections and operations. Other colonies resolved not to provide necessary war money through taxes. The Virginia House of Burgesses is an example of such colonies which preferred to print more money rather than be taxed. This situation increased inflation, and the British merchants did not want to take depreciated money. The balance of trade became favorable towards England, and this was directly linked to the French and Indian war. England increased military expenditure and also there was a huge demand for agricultural products which increased its wealth. This led to the British merchants giving consumer loans to American customers so that they could purchase more products. Consumer debt increased during this period (Wright 355). A war that started in the western frontier between the French military and the American colonists that led to the French and Indian battle in 1754. This war lasted for seven years, and it resulted in the victory of the British army against the French and took over Quebec.

In 1760, a new King George III took leadership over England. The new king favored political leaders as well as advisors who followed stringent policy towards the colonies. His dictatorship rule was not welcomed by the colonies since they needed a say in their government. The king was against any actions of rebels as he ordered them to be killed in case of any misconduct in the colonies. The treaty of Paris caused the end of the French and Indian war. France gave up most of its control of North America. In 1764, parliament passed the sugar act to raise money from the colonies through import taxes. In reaction, Boston merchants declined to purchase English luxury products. In 1765 the stamp act was implemented, and it affected the colonies similarly. Further, the Quartering Act required colonists to give accommodation to the British army.

In 1965, angry crowds forced stamp distributors to resign and also other merchants not to import British products. Colonial delegates to the stamp act congress in New York precluded the parliament's right to tax the colonies. In 1766, the parliament bowed to pressure from the British merchants and therefore abolished the futile stamp act, but it reaffirmed its supreme power over the colonies. In 1767 there was the Townshend act which imposed duties on tea, glass, tea as well as other items from the colonies. The people felt that they did not have to be taxed so highly because they had no say in the government.

Americans reacted to this by choosing to implement agreements that were against the importation of British goods. In 1769 the House of Burgesses reaffirmed its exclusive right to tax Virginians and condemned British actions. In 1770, British troops that had been sent to back the local British officials fired gunshots to angry Boston crown and murdered five people. The incident was later named as the Boston massacre (Rife, Douglas and Smith 14). In that same year, the parliament realized that the Townshend act discouraged the buying of British products and therefore revoked the entire taxes excluding the tax on tea which could not be produced in North America.

In 1773, the tea act gave the monopoly to the British East India Company to the sale of tea. However, this situation was protested in New York and Philadelphia where ships were compelled to go back to England with their tea. Additionally, patriots who were dressed as Indians boarded ships and dumped over three hundred pounds of tea overboard to stop it from being unpacked and sold. Americans thought that the Tea act was used by Britain to enter the country and take their independence and freedom. In 1774, the Boston port act was passed by parliament as a way of punishing people after the Boston tea party which resulted in terminating the harbor to all seaborne trade.

Further, the House of Burgesses in Virginia supported Boston by fasting and praying for a day. Virginia also called for a united colonial reply by boycotting British products. Further, delegates from every colony went to Pennsylvania where they formed the first continental congress and also declared that Americans had the right to life, property, and liberty (Shi et al. 138)

The intolerable acts emerged in 1744 where the king closed harbor for all other ships except for the British ships. British troops were sent to Boston and colonists were expected to feed them, and failure to do it would lead to their killing. British men could only be persecuted in their home country which was a situation that gave them the freedom to do whatever they desired to the colonies. Further, the British government was in control of entire meetings in Boston which meant that self-government was no more. The Quebec act was used to separate western colonies of Connecticut, Virginia, and Massachusetts from the rest of the colonies.

The first continental congress was held in 1774 that saw various representatives from various colonies except Georgia meeting to discuss the unbearable acts of the British. The battle of Lexington and Concord occurred in 1775 where the colonists send men to Boston where they fire the first shots for the revolution. Americans shot the British before they arrived in Concord and this battle changed to become the American Revolution. Eight Americans were killed and others wounded during this incident. The British regrouped and went ahead to concord where they destroyed the weapons and supplies of the colonies. However, the British platoon was attacked by militiamen and this lead to 14 deaths. The British troops began to exit from Lexington to Boston. However, they were shot at and harassed by rebels and farmers resulting in 250 casualties. This news spread very fast to most of the colonies (Shi et al. 145).

When Americans sought help from European nations during the war, King George III refused and also blocked all harbors from trade. However, the first American constitution was adopted by the assembly of New Hampshire. A pamphlet which was published by Thomas Paine is known as Common Sense motivated patriots to rise and seek independence. American men were able to capture Dorchester Heights and drive the British out of Boston. Delegates became empowered to vote for independence from Britain. Americans also received support from the French and Spain governments. The continental congress demanded that the 13 colonies establish local governments. Richard Henry Lee who was a delegate from Virginia presented a formal resolution asking Americans to declare its independence from Britain. It is then that a committee was chosen to draft the declaration of independence.


In conclusion, many factors played a role in the declaration of independence. The heavy taxation of colonies to finance the British military expenditure and o0ther works made colonies angry. It was unfair to them since they did not even have a say in the government. The king ruled on dictatorship terms where the failure to do his orders led to bloodshed. People were mistreated when they failed to do as the British troops expected them. The rebels were hunted and killed by the British army. However, unity of the states led to wars that saw British men defeated in war thereby evacuating from states that they had huge control. The colonies were fed up of being slaves of the British.

Works Cited

Armitage, David. The declaration of independence: A global history. Harvard University Press, 2007.Rife, Douglas M, and Bron Smith. Declaration of Independence. Carthage, IL: Teaching & Learning Co, 1997. Print.

Shi, David E, George B. Tindall, and Jon Durbin. America: A Narrative History. , 2016. Print.

Wright, John F. "British government borrowing in wartime, 1750-1815." The Economic History Review 52.2 (1999): 355-361.

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