Claims against King George III

Essay by mumu209High School, 11th gradeB-, February 2010

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The Declaration of Independence states grievances towards King George III as to provide justification for the separation between the colonies and Great Britain. Over half of the Declaration of Independence is a list of discontent towards the tyranny of King George III. King George III did take away rights of the colonists however he was a much easier target than Parliament, which was a much more complex system of government. Additionally, Parliament initially disabled colonists from settling past the Appalachian Mountains along with the laws to come that would stifle their rights, such as the Sugar Act, the Stamp Act, and the Townshend Acts, followed by the Tea Act.

Thomas Jefferson asserts twenty-seven abuses of King George III's tyrannical rule. The first twelve grievances state that instead of a representative government King George has established his direct rule. He keeps troops in the colonies when there is peace. As well as not enabling the colonies to be able to have a legislation nor a righteous judicial service, seeing as the current judges of the time were paid and selected by King George III.

The next ten grievances go on to present cases of the colonies inability to "self-rule". Their trade was controlled by Britain, which would levy taxes without colonist consent, and trial by jury was revoked. The last five grievances presented in the Declaration are those presenting cases of how the King abandoned the colonies. He waged war against them, turned many colonists against each other, did not protect them from the Indians, and used only violence in an attempt to prevent separation.

Most acts passed in the colonies were created by Parliament. The first acts were not created to punish the colonies but just as to rule over them and seeing as they were colonies of the British Empire, Britain was fairly strict and wanted to benefit as much as possible. The Sugar Act passed in 1764 by Parliament is a good example of this because it was created to repay war debts and caused colonists to have to increase duties on most exported goods and they did not allow the Colonies to import foreign rums and French wines. More acts similar to this were the Currency Act, created to prohibit the printing of legal tender; the Quartering Act passed in 1765 requiring colonists to house and feed British soldiers; and more including the Declaratory Act, Stamp Act, Townshend Acts, and the Tea Act. After the infamous dumping of the tea during the Boston Tea Party, Parliament passed the Coercive Act in March of 1774 or better known as the Intolerable Acts. The Coercive Act was a punishment of the colonies that required reimbursement of the loss of tea and the Port of Boston was closed until Massachusetts agreed to pay the taxes on the tea.

Most of the grievances and abuses that the Declaration of Independence refers to were those created by Parliament. Furthermore, Parliament began its strict rule over the colonies when developing laws to subdue the Americas in the Mercantilist system. King George III was much easier to attack in an explanation of the separation of the Colonies from the British Empire because in the creation of a new government the founding fathers were cautious of monarchial rule and by putting the blame on a monarchial power such as King George III, they could avoid such structure in the building of their own government.

Works CitedKennedy, David M., Lizabeth Cohen, and Thomas A. Bailey. The American Pageant A History of the Republic Advanced Placement Edition. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006. Print.