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By the King, a Proclamation, For suppressing Rebellion and Sedition

By the King, a Proclamation, For suppressing Rebellion and Sedition Broadside

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"Open and avowed rebellion"
Throughout the summer of 1775, King George III urges his ministers to declare the American colonies to be in a state of rebellion. An official statement will allow the military to purse more aggressive measures against the colonists, and allow the king to punish English supporters of the American cause. On 13 August 1775, William Penn arrives in Bristol, England carrying Congress's petition to the king. George III initially refuses to see Penn or receive the petition. Instead, he issues A Proclamation for Suppressing Rebellion and Sedition on 23 August 1775. News of these developments reaches Congress in the fall, encouraging delegates--and eventually all colonists--to rethink their allegiance to the king.

Questions to Consider

1. Imagine that you are a delegate to the Continental Congress. You have just received news of the Proclamation and you must share it with the government in your home colony. In your own words summarize the main points of the Proclamation (in 4 or 5 sentences).

2. Who is the intended audience for this declaration? American colonists? Britons?

3. How does the king propose to suppress the rebellion?

4. The king blames "dangerous and ill designing men" for misleading colonists. To whom do you think he is referring?

5. How is the king attempting to influence the colonists? Is he trying to appeal to their sense of loyalty? Does he try to scare them?

Further Exploration

6. Imagine that you are a Member of Parliament. Do you agree with the King's arguments and proposed actions? Why or why not? What advice would you have given the authors of the proclamation?