Suppose you were a little confused about the origins of the United States (because you went to public school), and suppose you looked to the Declaration of Independence to understand why the original 13 colonies wanted their independence. What would compel this new band of settlers to declare independence from England? What could you glean from reading this historic document?
From my reading, I think the men and women of the New World had grown very weary of the King. England, ruled by a monarch, offered no constitutional protections that we enjoy today. And it seems the King had turned into somewhat of a despot, and those valuing freedom had suffered long enough and a bold new course of action was needed. What were some of the chief complaints, you ask?
Here are but a few complaints the newest Americans found utterly objectionable: (see any similarities today?)
· He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good:
· For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent
· For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies
See here for the complete text of the Declaration of Independence. It’s a short read. http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html
The new Americans got it right. Instead of slogging along, abiding the wishes of the King, they declared an end to tyranny and laid new claim to what was rightfully theirs: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.