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Detailed Analysis: Declaration of Independence (list of Grievances)

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Jaidyn Rodriguez

US Govt. Paper 3

Nov. 30, 2015

Detailed Analysis: Declaration of Independence (List of Grievances)

        The Declaration of Independence was drafted by Thomas Jefferson, but included the ideas of many men who came together as a whole to produce a document that would lay out, in firm terms, the purposes and reasoning behind the American Revolution. Among these "firm terms" written within this historical document was a section that listed the colonists' specific and detailed grievances against King George III that would justify the reasoning behind their future actions. In this section of the Declaration of Independence, known as the List of Grievances, there are twenty-seven specific grievances and they are further explained in the following paragraphs.

        Grievance 1: "The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these States. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world." This basically is written to show that time after time the King would fail to follow or abide by the rules outlined by the British Parliament. Overtime, these usurpations would build up to gradually establish something of an absolute tyranny type of rule over the original thirteen colonies. The colonists obviously were not okay with being ruled in such a way so they decided to do something about it. That "something" resulted in the drafting of the Declaration of Independence.

        Grievance 2: "He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good." This is a grievance that states directly that the King failed to abide by the laws of his own country, those of which that are the most necessary to the greater good of the people.

        Grievance 3: "He has forbidden his Governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them." The King purposely keeps the governors in England from attaining the ability to pass laws, not just any laws though. Laws that were in need of immediate passing and the King would obstruct this action from happening basically to prove that he had all the power.  

        Grievance 4: "He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only." This shows that the King would refuse to pass any laws in favor of any districts containing a large sum of people unless they complied but basically forfeiting the places in parliament which of course would allow that power, which had previously belonged to a representative member of parliament, to go directly to the king.

        Grievance 5: "He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures." The King would deliberately set up the gatherings of Britain's legislative body in places the members were not used to or in places that he knew made many of them feel certainly uneasy in order to have them comply and agree with the measures he was putting forth.

        Grievance 6: "He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people." King George III would repeatedly force the representatives in Parliament to agree with him otherwise he would go about the situation at hand by impeding the rights of the citizens in his country.

        Grievance 7: "He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within." The King refused to step down from the throne and allow a new leader to be elected. The legislative powers had returned to being normal citizens in the fight against the tyrant.

        Grievance 8: "He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands." He purposely did what he could to prevent the colonies' population from growing to a larger people.

        Grievance 9: "He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers." The King refused to make laws outlining a sort of judicial system that would allow justice to be served where it may have been due.

        Grievance 10: "He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries." He brought up judges that would make decisions in favor of himself and ensured this by creating for them large amounts of income.

        Grievance 11: "He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance." King George III had multiple office built that contained officers that he sent specifically to harrass the colonists and observe their ways of living.

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