Assess the validity of this accusation made against King George III in the Declaration of Independence: "The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and...

Assess the validity of this accusation made against King George III in the Declaration of Independence:

"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."

Asked on by t521863

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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This statement is a political statement.  As with most political statements, it contains a grain of truth but is also extremely skewed.  It takes incidents that truly happened and paints them in the light that is most helpful to the writer and damaging to his opponents.

It can certainly be argued that the British government took many actions between 1763 and 1776 that were ill-advised and were perhaps infringements on the rights of the American colonists.  One example of this would be the infamous Stamp Act, which placed taxes on purely domestic products.  This had never been done before.  Another example would be the Boston Port Act, which closed the port of Boston. 

But it is hard to objectively justify the claim that the whole purpose of these laws was to create an absolute tyranny over the colonies.  The Stamp Act could easily be justified on the grounds that it was needed to pay for the Seven Years’ War.  The Boston Port Act was a way to force the colonists to make restitution for the property they had destroyed in the event that we now call the Boston Tea Party.  Neither of these was an unreasonable use of governmental power in that day and age.

The King and his government, then, certainly did things that took away the rights of the colonists.  However, saying that his only goal was to create a tyranny is unfair.  This is typical of political statements.

 

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