From Jefferson’s The Declaration of Independence, what are the reasons explaining the necessity of independence?

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missy575 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Jefferson offers several reasons for the necessity of independence. Each reason is articulated in a form parallel to the other by beginning with the word "for". Each reason demonstrates that the rule of the Kind has been tyrannical over the states and stakes claim in the requirement for their freedom from the English monarchy.

The reasons include the King enforcing legislation that:

  • forced taxation without the consent of the people
  • cut off trade with the rest of the world
  • deprived residents of the colonies of trial by jury
  • took away charters
  • abolished laws colonists created
  • transported colonists across the ocean for pretend trials
  • suspended elected officials and appointed other officials to take their places

These actions were unacceptable to the people and they prompted the willingness to be at war in order to fight for freedom from the English crown.

The exact text of the Declaration of Independence that includes these reasons is:

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

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

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.