Julia Formentin. Mr. Gill. Pol 101-08. 3/2/17. Natural

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Julia Formentin Mr. Gill POL 101-08 3/2/17 Natural Rights and American Independence After settling in America, colonists felt that their natural rights were being violated under British rule. This sparked their desire for self-government and independence from the British Empire. Under British rule, Parliament had the power to impose laws and taxes upon the colonies; many of the laws violated natural rights, and taxes were imposed despite the colonies not having representation in Parliament. These injustices encouraged colonists to fight for independence, basing their argument upon the philosophy of natural rights. Leaders of the colonies drafted the Declaration of Independence, which listed the many injustices and declared the colonies …show more content…

Despite the clear violations of rights, some colonist stayed loyal to the crown. In support of British reign, Thomas Hutchinson, governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, wrote Speech of the Governor to the Two Houses. In this document, written in 1773, Hutchinson responded to the colonists’ opinion of natural rights by stating that “every restraint which men are laid under by a state of government” will inevitably deprive someone of their natural rights. The colonists were arguing for protection of natural rights, yet according to Hutchinson, this was actually an argument against government because he felt that it was impossible to achieve absolute liberty. In 1774, delegates from twelve of the thirteen American colonies formed an assembly, known as the First Continental Congress. Their goal was to determine a way to resist the acts of Parliament, and ultimately declare independence. Their argument for separation was based upon the necessity to protect the peoples’ natural rights, contrary to Hutchinson’s opinion. Delegates wrote the Declaration and Resolves Of The First Continental Congress, accusing Parliament of violating charters, the constitution, and natural law, thus violating the very purpose which government serves. The document included a list of ten rights, which they considered to be “immutable laws

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