The Declaration of Independence Part 2
The Crimes of the King


  1. Read the Crimes of the King, below.
  2. Imagine that you are a colonial person.  Choose the region you are from.  Give yourself a name, an age, and an occupation.  Make sure that this information is included in your homework.
  3. As that colonial person, answer this question in a short paragraph.



1. He has refuted his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good. 1. He has refused to enact laws that would be good and useful to the public.
2. He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them. 2. He won’t allow his governors to pass important laws, because he wants to approve everything personally, but then he forgets about the whole thing. Important laws are never passed.
3. He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only. 3. He has refused to pass laws that would benefit many people, unless those people will give up their right to representation in government. This right is sacred to the people, and only frightens dictators.
4. He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures. 4. He has called meetings of lawmakers in remote areas, for no reason other than to make them so tired that they will agree with anything he says.
5. He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people. 5. He has continually forbidden our colonial legislatures to meet, only because they bravely objected to violations of the peoples’ rights.
6. He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands. 6. He has tried to prevent people from immigrating to this country by deliberately creating laws to make it difficult.
7. He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries. 7. He has made our judges his puppets. They are totally dependent on him for their jobs and salaries.
8. He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance. 8. He has appointed many new officials who come over here and harass our people and use up our resources.
9. He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures. 9. He keeps soldiers over here, in peacetime, without the permission of our governments.
10. For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us: 10. He commands that these armed soldiers live in our houses.
11. For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States: 11. He protects these soldiers from punishment. They can murder one of us and get away with it.
12. For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world: 12. He has prevented us from trading with other nations, cutting us off from everyone
13. For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent 13. He has taxed us without asking us first
14. For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury: 14. He has prevented us from getting fair trials in many states
15. For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences: 15. He has forced people to go to England for trials. Very often they have been falsely accused of crimes.
16. He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us. 16. He has decided that he is not responsible for protecting us anymore, and has attacked us.
17. He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people. 17. He has stolen the resources from our seas, attacked our coasts, burnt our towns and destroyed the lives of our people.
18. He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation. 18. Right now he is bringing armies of foreign mercenaries to finish his campaign of destruction. His actions are barbaric, and totally unworthy of a king.
19. He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands. 19. He has kidnapped Americans and forced them to serve in the British navy. These men are forced to kill their own friends and family, or be killed themselves.
20. He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions. 20. He has tried to turn us against each other, and tried to get the Indians to attack us. Indians, as we all know, are merciless. They will kill anyone, even the elderly, women, children and the injured.
22. He has waged cruel War against human Nature itself, violating its most Sacred Rights of Life and Liberty in the Persons of a distant People who never offended him, captivating and carrying Them into Slavery in another Hemisphere, or to incur miserable Death in their Transportation thither. This piratical Warfare, the opprobrium of Infidel Powers, is the Warfare of the Christian King of Great Britain.

22. He has cruelly ignored peoples’ basic rights to life and liberty by enslaving foreign people who never did anything to him. These people are captured and transported half way around the world. They will die miserable deaths, either as slaves or on the voyage here. The King of England does this piracy, this shameful practice of barbarians.

23. In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people. 23. Every time we are abused we have written to the King, asking politely for the abuse to stop. Every time we ask, our answer is more abuse. Any King who acts like this is a dictator, and has no right to be the leader of free people
24. Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred, to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends. 24. We’ve also tried asking Parliament for help. We’ve reminded them that we are Englishmen, too. We’ve asked them to end these abuses, to treat us with justice and mercy. We’ve asked them to reject the King’s actions. But, like the King, they have ignored us. Therefore, we have no choice but to consider Parliament our enemy as well.

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