Before the Declaration of Independence, the Americans reached out to Great Britain. Immediately before the Declaration of Independence, we reached out to Great Britain for help in trying to avoid war. Events in the colonies had been deteriorating rapidly, and all signs were pointing to a war occurring. We sent a petition to Great Britain hoping to avoid this conflict.
This petition was called the Olive Branch Petition. An olive branch is a symbol of peace. In the petition, we told Great Britain that we wanted to remain loyal to Great Britain and to remain a part of the British Empire. We wanted the British to remove all of the popular laws they passed that caused the colonists so much anguish. However, Great Britain rejected this petition believing they could do whatever they wanted to do with the colonies. Once this petition was rejected, it was very clear to the colonists that they had to declare independence. They knew this would lead to war.