The Declaration of Independence The complaints against the King listed in the Declaration of Independence are not a chronological listing of incidents. Rather, the complaints are grouped into four categories: (1) Unjust use of power; (2) Conspiring with Parliament in unjust acts or laws; (3) Warlike acts; and (4) That the colonists requests for redress of their grievances resulted only in “repeated injury.” Examples of the first three categories are shown below on the chart. Notice that all of the charges against the King as stated in the Declaration of Independence are intentionally vague. Although they refer to actual historical events during the Revolutionary Era, the Declaration does not identify names, dates, or places. Since the charges listed in the Declaration were not clear, it was difficult for Great Britain to refute each charge.
Work with a partner to see if you can identify some of the actions to which the Declaration of Independence refers. Your teacher may supply you with a reference sheet.