I disagree with the above post; in that there were numerous opportunities to avert full revolution, even after the Battle of Lexington and Concord. There was a failure on both sides to seek consensus or even to cooperate; otherwise the Revolution might have been averted.
The First Continental Congress, held AFTER the impostition of the Coercive Acts, attempted to resolve the crisis: The Congress approved a Declaration of American Rights:
- Stated that Parliament had the right to regulate commerce and only strictly imperial matters; Parliament’s right to regulate internal matters in the colonies was denied.
- Stated that Americans were English Citizens and entitled to all the rights thereof.
- Stated that each colony had the right to determine if British troops were needed within its borders.
This is hardly the act of a people too far down the road to revolution to turn back.
Even after the Battle of Lexington and Concord, the Second Continental Congress, on July 5 and 6, 1775 issued the Olive Branch Petition by which the colonies rejected independence if only George III would respect their rights as English citizens, and begged him to cease hostilities pending talks towards reconciliation:
The apprehension of being degraded into a state of servitude from the preeminent rank of English freemen, while our minds retain the strongest love of liberty, and clearly foresee the miseries preparing for us and our posterity, excites emotions in our breasts which, though we can not describe, we should not wish to conceal. Feeling as men, and thinking as subjects, in the manner we do, silence would be disloyalty. By giving this faithful information, we do all in our power to promote the great objects of your royal cares, the tranquility of your government and the welfare of your people.
We ask but for peace, liberty, and safety. We wish not a diminution of the prerogative, nor do we solicit the grant of any new right in our favor. Your royal authority over us, and our connection with Great Britain, we shall always carefully and zealously endeavor to support and maintain.
These are hardly the words of a people who have crossed the proverbial Rubicon. It was in fact the intransigence of George III, who refused to even read the Petition that made the ensuing conflict inevitable.