Becoming Independent

Alexander Tsesis

in For Liberty and Equality

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780195379693
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199949847 | DOI:
Becoming Independent

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The American colonies began cooperating politically against British rule even before they adopted the Declaration of Independence. In 1774, delegates from twelve of thirteen colonies gathered in Philadelphia for the First Continental Congress to decide how to respond to coercive British laws. Passions ran high against acts permitting British officers to requisition private property for billeting soldiers and cutting off seaborne trade to Boston. Initially, most delegates hoped to mend relations with England, while only a small faction favored independence. At that point, British leaders probably could have negotiated mutually favorable terms to resolve colonial grievances; instead, a power struggle ensued that resulted in the American Revolution.

Keywords: British rule; American colonies; Continental Congress; British law; private property requisition; seaborne trade

Chapter.  6413 words.  Illustrated.

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