The people were now declaring their independence because of these excesses, and inherent in what Jefferson writes is the belief that the people have an absolute right to do this, a right given to them by God, a right that neither King George III nor any other civil authority can take away (Hall 222-223).
A number of events led up to the writing of the Declaration of Independence. Even before the end of the French and Indian War, there had been indications of dissensions within the colonies. The British in 1759 had disallowed measures passed by the popular assemblies and had taken other actions that affirmed British control and reduced the effectiveness of colonial bodies. When Parliament placed taxes on American trade as a method of regulation for the first time in their history, the result was explosive. There was a whole series of taxes, of which the Stamp Act was only one of the most onerous. The Quartering Act was one of the most bitterly opposed, for it was a form of indirect taxation that required American assemblies to provide British troops with temporary housing and an assortment of provisions when they passed through the colonies. This placed a burden on merchants and farmer