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Many of the Founding Fathers had been inspired by political philosophy that had detailed and defined the role of government and the responsibilities of government. As you likely know, this period (1763 to 1776) represented a tumultuous period in British North America. Representatives from each of the colonies were ultimately sent to Philadelphia to discuss the options available in dealing with the growing threat to liberty and oppression from King George III. 

From the British perspective, they had provided a form and system of government that was the freest in the world at this time. They, unlike the French, created a parliamentary monarchy to represent the needs of the British subjects. In their perspective, again, they had created a system for representation to serve the needs of the British subjects. This legislative body was further divided into different houses to further show the complexity of this branch of government. The parliament was a legacy of an earlier era when the king of England chose to restrict their power and authority to defer to a legislative body. In the year 1215, King John signed the Magna Carta for this explicit purpose. Now, over 500 years later, the British were still using this system of governance that had been created to ensure a voice to British subjects.

As you begin this course, I want you to think about the causes of the American Revolution. What were the true limitations of this system of governance from the perspective of those living in British North America (i.e. the 13 original colonies)? I would advise you to review the posted content to give you some historical content. 

Once you’ve completed the review of posted content, read the Declaration of Independence.

Declaration of Independence (Links to an external site.)

[Source: “Declaration of Independence, 1776 | the American Yawp Reader,” n.d.]

After reading this document, write a short reflection to explain and describe the main conditions for separation from the British monarchy and government. What were the main grievances as explained in this document? Do not simply list the grievances. Students, rather, should explain the significance of the document (and its ideas expressed within) by highlighting and explaining these reasons for their separation from the British monarchy.

These additional videos may help you consider the historical time period and context surrounding independence (and the rejection of monarchy). These videos are part of a collection made in June 2021 in advance of Independence Day. I found them to be interesting since they hired actors to play these characters through reading texts and diaries of that age. You can see, hear, and read of the perspectives of both the English and colonists in the decisions and justifications surrounding the tensions before independence.

This assignment should be double-spaced, submitted as a Word document or PDF, one-inch margins, Times New Roman font. The entry should be 600 words of text (excluding the footnotes if applicable). The instructor has provided the citation to be used for the Declaration of Independence. Please note the due date and due time. Students that fail to submit an assignment to Canvas will receive a 0% and will be dropped from the course for non-attendance. Students that submit an assignment in an unapproved format (formats other than a Word document or PDF) will receive a 0%. No assignments will be accepted via email. No alternate assignments will be accepted. No additional attempts will be given to students that fail to upload documents on time or in the appropriate format. Follow all the directions regarding length, format, and content.