U.S. History you may not know (I didn’t)

Tara Ross

In August of 1775, an Olive Branch petition from the American colonies arrived in London. It would be formally presented to the King on September 1.

The Olive Branch Petition had been adopted by the Continental Congress mere weeks earlier, on July 5, 1775. Does the date sound familiar? It’s very close to another one that you are used to hearing, of course. Congressional delegates would end up adopting a Declaration of Independence almost exactly one year later, on July 4, 1776.

But in 1775 congressional delegates were still trying to figure out what to do. Some, like John Adams, thought that war was inevitable; however, the majority of Congress voted to give reconciliation a try. Thus, an Olive Branch petition was approved, then signed on July 8.

Notably, the petition blamed Parliament, not the King, for the problems between England and the colonies. The colonists spoke of themselves as “your majesty’s faithful subjects” and expressed hope and confidence that the King would act to grant relief.

A copy of that petition arrived in London in mid-August. It was formally presented to the King on September 1. The King did not believe the colonists were sincere, however. He’d already issued a proclamation declaring the colonies to be in “open and avowed rebellion,” and he refused to even look at the petition.

The petition is a remarkable contrast to the Declaration of Independence, approved only a year later. The mindset of the colonists’ had changed drastically in just 12 short months. In the Petition, the colonists called themselves “subjects” and expressed hope that the King would help. In the Declaration, they blasted the King for “an absolute Tyranny over these States.” They concluded:

“We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America . . . solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States.”

It’s hard to hear that last sentence without a hearty “Amen!” — isn’t it?!


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4 Responses to U.S. History you may not know (I didn’t)

  1. czarina33 says:

    News to me. Seems my history classes jumped from Cotton Mather to Salem witch trials to Tea Party to Declaration of Independence. But then, class was fifty years ago and some of my memory is faulty…

    Liked by 2 people

    • czarina33 says:

      You know, it seems like liberals prefer to be ” subjects”, but conservatives not so much.
      BTW, great movie about that time period, “The Madness of King George”.

      Liked by 1 person

      • stella says:

        I have watched a couple of series on the Georgians that were produced by BBC. Lots of stuff like that available on YouTube. I have learned a lot that way. Don’t know how valuable the info is, but now I know it!

        The first George didn’t even speak English when he was crowned, because the Brits picked the closest relative who was a Protestant. Catholics cannot assume the throne; neither can those who are married to a Catholic. There is no legal bar on them marrying a Muslim, a Jew or, indeed, an atheist.


  2. Col.(R) Ken says:

    Parts I had heard of, great find Stella…………

    Liked by 1 person

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