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Unformatted text preview: The adoption of the Declaration of Indepedence was the legal act of seperation from British control and the rule of King George III. King George and Parliament, for many years, inflicted heavy burdens on the colonists which caused tensions to grow and fester more with each passing offence. The Stamp Act and the Townshend duties increased taxes for the cononists, tensions over which culminated into the Boston Massacre. The Tea Act, which allowed the East India Tea Company to export tea directly damaged American merchants and the economy. The Intolerable Acts gave soldiers who committed crimes against colonists the ability to be tried in England where they would be more congratulated that punished for these offenses, provided for the quartering of soldiers in private homes, and allowed the king to appoint members of the governor's councel rather than for them to be elected, all of which encroached on the privacy and peaceful daily lives of colonists and prevented the colonial governments from assembling or effectively governing or resolving issues in their own lands. The first Continental Congress sent a message to king George III stating the colonists were loyal to him, but their rights must be respected, and stopped all trade with England until they were allowed to take part in governing themselves. The battles of Lexington and Concord resulted in the deaths of 8 Americans and the wounding of 10 when the British attempted to seize Concord, and while returning to Boston, resulted in the deaths of 77, the wounding of 174 and 26 missing British soldiers from repeated ambushes by colonial militia. The 2nd continental congress established a continental army, and named George Washington Commander-in-Cheif. Richard Henry Lee's Common Sense then put forth a motion to totally dissolve all political connection to Great Brittain. The colonists were validated in adopting the Declaration of Independence, as stated within the document itself, by a list of 30 colonial grievences against the acts of King George III, many of which were traditional and legitimate grievances under British Constitutional law. The declaration firmly announced that British actions had established "an asolute Tyranny over these states". Britains' acts of tyranny, according to the declaration's list, included but are not limited to taxation of Americans without representation in Parliament; imposition of standing armies on American communities; establishment of the military above the civil power; obstruction of the right to trial by jury; interference with the operation of colonial legislatures; and cutting off of trade with the rest of the world. The colonists, under such extreme circumstances and oppression by their parent country, had little choice but to declare and fight for their independence. ...
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- Fall '08