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Declaration of Independence1776

The British contributed to tensions by trying to help the nearly bankrupt East India Company by passing a law that allowed the company to ship tea directly to the colonies without paying import duties, and in effect this granted the company a monopoly. This was the Tea Act of 1773, and the colonists interpreted it as a plot to persuade them to drink taxed tea at a low price. The opposition to this duty grew, leading to the Boston Tea party among other acts of opposition. Tensions continued to mount until the British tried to quell demonstrations with troops, and this led to the rebellion of the colonists first in the city of Boston and then outward from there as the British troops made their way into the interior. It was the Radicals, who had by then started calling themselves the Patriots, who forced the crisis with the Boston Tea Party. This was described by Adams as an attack on property that might lead to a more violent confrontation in the future. Parliament had responded with a series of "Coercion Acts" that asserted the sovereignty of the crown and denied the power of the Massachusetts Assembly. The Quartering Act applied to all colonies. The intent was to isolate the resistance, but instead it increased the resistance, spread it throughout the colonies, and led to war (Zinn 67-80).

Thomas Paine's political declaration in his tract Common Sense struck a chord with the Americans of his time. The book was so popular that it went through fifty-six editions in the first year. The book was published anonymously in 1776, and the sentiments expressed in this work by Paine helped direct the energies of the rebels and point the way to American independence from England. What Paine did in this small book was to enunciate important principles of individual human rights and the specific right of the people to challenge unjust laws and an unjust government. What Paine did was to gather together many of the intellectual curren...

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Declaration of Independence1776. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 03:23, September 20, 2017, from
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