Did the Colonies Have a Right to Declare Their Independence from Britain?
The United States' Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Second Continental Congress on July 4th, 1776. Thomas Jefferson is credited for writing the majority of the document, which declared that the thirteen colonies in North America were, and should be, independent states from the British Empire. Almost any present-day United States citizen could tell you this, we all learn a little about it at some point in our educational career. However, was it just and called for? Did the colonies have the right to declare independence? We all know of the phrase "Taxation without representation," but do we know the background? As Americans, it can be difficult to challenge the idea that perhaps things shouldn't have turned out the way they did. In this paper we will attempt to explore this question: Did the colonies have a right to declare their independence from Britain?
From the Declaration:
" ..._Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government__..."_
Though this was not a right given to anyone by the British government at the time, the idea was that it was part of each person's inalienable rights (life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness) and thus it wasn't necessary for it to be written in British law in order to be in effect. Many people were not happy with the way King George III was handling their situation and had attempted to reform by petitioning for the repeal of certain taxes and act instituted by Britain. If said taxes were removed, they were soon replaced by more which essential took the same toll on the colonists. There were clearly enough citizens who felt that reform was necessary that George III should have given more...