From "League & Amity" To "Absolute Tyranny": The History Of Royal Government In The Declaration Of Independence
Massachusetts Historical Society
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This paper argues that the Declaration of Independence was not antimonarchist in principle. The document’s conclusion’s “circumstances of our migration and settlement here” referred (as in Thomas Jefferson’s draft) to a “league & amity with” the British people through the colonists’ adoption of “one common king.” British monarchs subsequently largely abided by the terms of that “league & amity,” and it was only when George III attempted to impose “an absolute Tyranny” that colonists revolted. The subsequent creation of a United States Republic thus resulted from historical experience of “the present King of Great Britain” rather than from egalitarian ideology.