What were five reasons for the Declaration of Independence?

1 Answer

mkoren's profile pic

mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

There are several reasons for issuing of the Declaration of Independence. One reason was the unhappiness of the colonists with the Proclamation of 1763 and the Quartering Act that followed. The Proclamation of 1763 prevented the colonists from moving west of the Appalachian Mountains. The colonists wanted to move to these new lands so they could get land. This law prevented that from happening. The Quartering Act required the colonists to provide housing for the soldiers who were enforcing this law. The colonists didn’t want to have to incur expenses for soldiers to enforce a law they didn’t want.

Another factor leading to the Declaration of Independence was the passage of tax laws. Both the Stamp Act and the Townshend Acts were laws that taxed the colonists. The colonists opposed these laws because they didn’t have representatives in Parliament that could vote for these proposed taxes. This was a right all British citizens have, and the colonists, who were British citizens, didn’t have this right.

The Boston Massacre was a turning point for some people. When the British soldiers fired into the crowd and killed five people, some people began to believe we needed to be free from British rule.

The Boston Tea Party and the resulting Intolerable Acts pushed the colonists closer to issuing the Declaration of Independence. The British were furious at the colonists for destroying all of tea, and they wanted to punish the colonists for this action. The Intolerable Acts were harsh laws that impacted the colonists, especially those in Massachusetts. The colonists refused to obey these laws, setting the stage for further conflict.

Finally, the battles that occurred at Lexington and Concord pushed us closer to war. Many people believed war was inevitable after there were casualties on both sides during these battles and as the British soldiers returned to Boston. We also were moving closer and closer to independence when the Olive Branch Petition was rejected, and the pamphlet, Common Sense, was written. In July 1776, the Declaration of Independence was issued.