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Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking up Arms

Declaration Of The Causes And Necessity Of Taking Up Arms

A declaration by the representatives of the united colonies of North America, now met in Congress at Philadelphia, setting forth the causes and necessity of their taking up arms

Following the outbreak of hostilities in Concord and Lexington, Massachusetts, in April 1775, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia. The Congress created the Continental Army, appointed GEORGE WASHINGTON commander, and, on July 8, adopted the Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking up Arms.

JOHN DICKINSON, a delegate from Pennsylvania, was the principal author of the declaration. Although the declaration describes the actions by the British government that had angered the colonists and justifies the need to resist the British with arms, it does not proclaim a desire to break with the mother country. Instead the declaration expresses the need to conserve old liberties and the old order "in defence of the freedom that is our birth right and which we ever enjoyed until the late violation of it."

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