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History Internal assessment- The causes of the Declaration of independance

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Introduction

To what extent did hostilities between America and Britain make a declaration of independence inevitable in 1776? Introduction - A In the year 1776 a declaration was written, denying British rule and forging independence. This document was the first in its kind to reject the British Empire. However, was the declaration an inevitable outcome of the hostilities between America and Britain at this time? This investigation is going to look at hostilities between Britain and America at this time, and at the extent this inevitably led to a declaration that managed to break through an Empire. Historical documentation and eye witness accounts will be used to provide an accurate interpretation of events at the time and the focal point will be on why the Americans wanted to split from England. The sources will be approached from a neutral angle and be well scrutinised for bias of any kind. Sources used will include historical documents, books written by historians, and the use of one non-historical book. Section B: * McCullough, David - 1776, Published by Penguin in 2005:- gives a detailed account of the events of 1775 and 1776 depicting the period leading to and following the declaration of Independence. It gives a reliable account of views from both sides, from the King, to the greenest American volunteers. ...read more.

Middle

Because it was written by a historian it is reasonably trustworthy, although it must be read with a careful eye for bias. This is quite a useful source and is very beneficial for a historian starting to look at the American war of independence. Section D: There are varying arguments as to what extent the Declaration of Independence was inevitable because of hostilities between Britain and Americans. The main divides are between British and American supporters, and these views can be violently different because the war created deep wounds in both nations. I will use the evidence to explore the events prior to the war, and the possible causes of such a revolutionary document. One of the underlying problems in America at this time was that the American settlers did not have any vote in how their country was run. The Americans thought themselves equal to those living in Britain2 and saw huge injustice that, because they were further away, they lost their right to vote. However for years the British government had been conquering nations and had never had any problems with the voting system. To an extent, this hostile environment made revolutionary activity more likely, but it would not have made a declaration inevitable. To find the cause one must delve deeper into the laws passed at this time. ...read more.

Conclusion

Events at Boston were the main cause for the writing and signing of a declaration of independence, and made this course of action almost completely inevitable. Section E: The Declaration of Independence was, to a large extent, inevitable because of hostilities between Britain and America. They formed the basis for revolutionary thought, and the way it was handled by the British government made declaring independence seem the only viable choice for the colonists. Political ideals of freedom were strong when America was colonized, not least because of the abundance of slavery13. Lack of representation and the effect of taxes on the relatively undisturbed lifestyles of the colonists; the sudden change in law and introduction of a British standing army; lack of communication between the British and American colonists; the actions of the British government and troops; and especially the events that occurred in Boston - all acted to bring about revolutionary activity in the American colonies. The American people felt the grip of oppression, and fought for the preservation 'of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness14'. The British were dealing with an empire too large to control effectively, whilst defending against a crippling financial crisis. Americans saw the actions of the king and parliament as efforts to take away their rights, and the unjustified oppression of Boston convinced them that the only way to preserve their rights - their freedom - was to declare independence. ...read more.

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