Were The Colonists Justified Essay

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Long before any blood was shed in the Revolution, Americans were establishing ideas in their minds concerning breaking away from the British Empire. As early as 1774, the Colonists met in the First Continental Congress in response to the British taxation and limitation of Colonial Representative Government. As stated by Benjamin Franklin in his draft of a resolution for the congress, “there is a manifest defect in the constitution of the British Empire in respect to the government of the colonies upon those principles of liberty which form an essential part of that constitution.” Franklin demonstrated that the colonists, before any fighting began, already had the idea in their minds that the existing government was failing to preserve their rights as British citizens. In response to this failure, the colonists determined to place a …show more content…
Constitutional government is centered on the belief in the rule of law. The Colonists believed that the British government violated the principle of a higher law and therefore constitutional government when it imposed policies such as the Stamp Act. The Colonists had governed themselves with little British interference for over 150 years before the Revolution. During this time they had structured their government on principles described by John Locke 's social contract theory. They held the fact to be true that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” Among the rights that the Americans held in high regard was the right to property, agreeing with John Locke 's claim that “The supreme power cannot take from any man part of his property without his own consent.” They saw the British policies, particularly the Quartering Act of 1765, as invasions of the right to property they considered to be guaranteed in a constitutional

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