King George's Tyranny

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"This history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpation, all having, in direct object, the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these States." King George comes up in the Declaration of Independence because he (along with Parliament) was adamant about controlling the colonies and making sure they stayed under England's thumb. King George is the one who actually first called the colonists "rebels," and so, he became the target of the American Revolution. In February of 1775, King George III spoke before Parliament and said that America was in a "state of rebellion." This led to several states declaring their own independent resolutions and dissolving their association with Great Britain. One of these declarations was the Mecklenburg resolutions, created by the citizens of Mecklenburg County in North Carolina. Historian Sydney George Fisher writes, "That declaration of rebellion, said the Mecklenburg resolutions, necessarily annulled all British laws in America and suspended for the present all civil government derived from Great Britain" (Fisher 324). While the Mecklenburg declaration had little impact on the rest of the war, it shows the sentiment of the people and their reaction to what they saw as tyranny by King George III and Parliament. Because Americans had been used to governing themselves since they first came to America, when King George and Parliament tried to levy taxes and place more control on the colony, the people did not like it. King George did not enact all the laws affecting the colonies, the Parliament did, but he became a symbol of English tyranny to the Americans. When the Declaration of Independence was first read to the people, many people reacted by showing their hatred of the king. Fisher continues, "In New York as soon as the patriots heard of the Declaration they dragged down the gilt statue of the king on the Bowling Green and cut off its head" (Fisher 461). Americans hated the King...
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