This history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpation, all having, in direct object, the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these States." Quoted from the Declaration of Independence, it reflects the Americans' conviction that King George III denied the right of the American colonies to govern themselves through their own elected legislatures. In addition, the creators of this document continue to explain the king's failure at securing the colonies' right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Beginning 1760, King George's reign was characterized by rising tensions between the Americans and the British government. Prior to his reign, relations with the British government and the colonies were strained, but never to the point of rebellion. However, as King George continued his reign, the colonists of America began to accuse the King of establishing an "absolute tyranny." The use of the strong language by the writers emphasizes the Americans' accusations of the British government refusal of allowing the colonies to govern themselves through assemblies elected in America.
Outlining the principles of a just government, the Declaration accuses King George of aiming at tyranny. From the point of view of the Declaration, "tyranny" may be defined as a form of government that violates the principles of the consent of the governed and failure to securing the unalienable rights of the people. Throughout the history of the colonies, the king has repeatedly denied the right of the American colonies to govern themselves through their own elected legislatures. "He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his Invasions on the rights of the people." For example, in 1768, the representative assembly of Massachusetts published a letter for circulation which indicted the King and Parliament for infringing on the rights of Americans.