The colonists had been growing increasingly upset with the British government since the French and Indian War ended in 1763. Several actions occurred in the year before the Declaration of Independence was issued that convinced the colonists that this action was proper and necessary. The colonists were infuriated with the passage of the Intolerable Acts in 1774, and they refused to obey them. The First Continental Congress met in September 1774 and asked Great Britain to repeal these laws, which Great Britain refused to do. The colonists stopped importing British products and began to form their own militias. Britain refused to back down and increased the number of British troops in the colonies.
In April 1775, the first battle of the Revolutionary War was fought. It should be noted that this was an unofficial battle of the Revolutionary War since independence wasn’t declared until July 4, 1776. However, both sides suffered many casualties as a result of the fighting at Lexington and at Concord. Many colonists believed that a full-scale war was now inevitable with Great Britain.
The Second Continental Congress met in May 1775, and it established a colonial army led by George Washington. The Second Continental Congress began to act like a government as money was printed and a post office was created. The colonists still hoped for a peaceful resolution of their differences with Great Britain by sending the Olive Branch Petition to King George. The colonists indicated they wanted peace and again asked for the removal of the laws that they disliked. However, King George refused to do what the colonists had requested.
In January 1776, Thomas Paine wrote a very influential pamphlet called Common Sense, which explained why the colonists should become independent from Great Britain. This document swayed many people who were undecided about which side to support. Eventually, the Second Continental Congress authorized the drafting of a document that became the Declaration of Independence when it was adopted on July 4, 1776.