King George Tyranny Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

accusation made against King George III in the Declaration of Independence: "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 because he allowed the injustices to continue, he condoned them, and he had called the colonists rebels. He may not have been responsible for all the problems in the colonies, but he was the figurehead that represented the country that was causing their problems, and so, they came to see him as a symbol of tyranny and repression.

King George III began his reign in 1760, and had only a few years to help impose many new laws and tariffs on the Americans, so he was new in their minds and a handy scapegoat. It is not surprising that he was mentioned in the Declaration of Independence, because the founding fathers wrote that document to declare our independence but also to incite Americans to rise up against Great Britain. Americans needed a "villain" to blame their troubles on, and King George was handy, well-known, and helpful in starting a Revolution.

However, it really was not King George that levied tariffs and taxed the…

Sources Used in Document:


Fisher, Sydney George. The Struggle for American Independence. Vol. 1. Freeport, NY: Books for Libraries Press, 1971.

Wahlke, John C., ed. The Causes of the American Revolution. Revised ed. Boston D.C. Heath and Company, 1967.

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