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Karen Palumbo

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Blogs by Karen Palumbo

On This Day 9/1/1775
8/31/2011 7:10:41 PM

King George III refuses Olive Branch Petition


Richard Penn and Arthur Lee, representing the Continental Congress, present the so-called "Olive Branch Petition" to the Earl of Dartmouth. Great Britain's King George III however, refused to receive the "Olive Branch Petition" which, written by John Dickinson, appeale ddirectly to King George III and expressed hope for reconcilliation between the colonies and Great Britain.

John Dickinson, who hoped desperately to avoid a final break with Great Britain, phrased colonial opposition to British policy in this way:

"Your Majesty's Ministers, persevering in
their measures, and proceeding to open
hostilities for enforcing them, have
compelled us to arm in our own defence,
and have engaged us in a controverssy so
peculiarly abhorrent to the affections
of your still faithful Colonists, that
when we consider whom we must oppose in
this contest, and if it continues, what
may be the consequences, our own particular
misfortunes are accounted by us only as
parts of our distress."

By phrasing their discontent this way, Congress attempted to notify King George III that American colonists were unhappy with "Ministerial" policy, not his own. They then concluded their plea with a final statement of fidelity to the British Crown.

"That your Majesty may enjoy long and
prosperous reign, and that your descendants
may govern your Dominions with honour to
themselves and happiness to their subjects,
is our sincere prayer."

By July 1776 though, the "Declaration of Independence" proclaimed something very different.

"The history of the present King of Great
Britain is a history of repeated injuries
and usurpations, all having in direct
object the establishment of an absolute
Tyranny over these States."

In fact, Congress insisted that Thomas Jefferson remove any language from the declaration that implicated the people of Great Britain or their elected representatives in Parliament. The fundamental grounds upon which Americans were taking up arms had shifted. The militia that had fired upon Redcoats at the "Battle of Lexington" and the "Battle of Concord" in April 1775 had been angry with Parliament, not King George III, who they still trusted to desire only good for all of his subjects around the globe.

This belief changed after Congress learned that King George III refused to so mucha s receive the "Olive Branch Petition. Americans had hoped that Parliament had curtailed colonial rights without King George III's knowledge, and that the petition would cause him to come to his subjects' defense.

When King George III refused to read the "Olive Branch Petition", many Americans realized that Parliament was acting with Royal knowledge and support. American Patriot rage was further intensified by the January 1776 publication by English-born radical Thomas Paine of "Common Sense", as influential pamphlet that attacked the monarchy, which Thomas Paine claimed had allowed "crowned reffians" to "impoverish the nation and set it together by the ears."



(K) (HST)


George III King of Great Britain
Richard Penn American Patriot
Arthur Lee American Patriot
John Dickinson American Patriot
Thomas Jefferson American Patriot
President, USA
Thomas Paine American Patriot


Comments (2)

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