Were Americans justified in declaring independence from Britain?
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The Americans were not justified in declaring independence from Britain. In the Declaration of Independence the Americans laid out their reasons for the break from Britain, most of which were complaints that seemed baseless or selfish. The Americans complained about taxes, about quartering soldiers, about having to obey the laws of a government across an ocean from them, etc. Any reasonable human being would see these things as perfectly acceptable considering the circumstances though.
The taxes the Americans refused to pay were put into place to help pay off Britain’s debt incurred protecting the Americans. The Americans expected to be defended by the British, without actually having to be British in any aspect they didn’t like. Quartering soldiers was another sacrifice that had to be made so that the British soldiers could be within the towns and cities guarding the people. Having the British soldiers in their homes was by no means an ideal situation for anyone, but were they suggesting a better solution? No, they just knew what they didn’t want, and that apparently was enough.
Obeying laws from a government across an ocean from them was another instance of wanting to benefit from being British without having to be British in any aspect they didn’t like. I admit that I wouldn’t like to be governed by someone that wasn’t spending every day living with the laws they were creating, but still, it’s not a matter of being able to pick and choose like that. Take the good with the bad or take none of it at all. I think in this specific case the good outweighed the bad when the Americans decided to separate from Britain. They were protected and treated as British citizens in exchange for paying taxes and obeying what seemed to be fairly unobtrusive laws. In their situation, it wasn’t really justified to be complaining and declaring independence on the grounds of the argument they used.