What is the Declaration of Independence accusing King George III of doing? The full statement is "The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and...

What is the Declaration of Independence accusing King George III of doing?

The full statement is "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" I pretty much need to evaluate the accusation made against George III, but I don't understand what is being said and what he is being accused of doing.

 

Asked on by schoolp

2 Answers | Add Yours

mkoren's profile pic

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

Posted on

When the Declaration of Independence mentioned King George III, it referenced many grievances or complaints that the colonists had about him. The colonists were very concerned that King George III was abusing his power. They believed that he and the British government were enacting policies that violated the rights of the colonists.

For example, the colonists were upset that the King was limiting their right to self-government. They said he dissolved representative houses and called meetings in places that were inconvenient for the elected officials. They didn’t like that new taxes were being imposed without the approval of the colonists. The colonists believed that all British citizens must have representatives that can speak about and vote on proposed taxes. The colonists believed they didn’t have this right. The colonists were upset that the King interfered with their trade. They didn’t like the idea that jury trials were sometimes abolished.

Because the King was unwilling to listen to their concerns, the colonists believed they had to change the government since the government wasn’t protecting their rights. They declared their independence so they could have a new government that would protect their rights.

Sources:

Top Answer

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Basically, the Declaration is accusing King George III of being a tyrant and taking away the rights of the colonists.  The part that you cite accuses him of that in general and later parts of the Declaration specify exactly what he is supposed to have done.

When the Declaration says that King George has commited "repeated injuries and usurpations," it is saying that he has hurt the colonies (injuries) and that he has taken away their rights (to "usurp" is to take something that someone else has a right to).  It then says that the whole point of what the king is doing is to establish a tyranny over the colonies.

Later in the Declaration, there is a listing of all the many things that the writers claim the king has done to them.  The general thrust of those accusations is that the king has taken away their rights to things such as self-government, trial by jury, and free trade.  Overall, though, these parts of the Declaration are simply saying that King George III has done too many things to harm the colonies and take away their rights.

We’ve answered 319,398 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question