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Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking up Arms

On July 6, 1775, the day following adoption of the Olive Branch Petition, the Second Continental Congress approved the Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking up Arms, a statement authored jointly by Thomas Jefferson and John Dickinson. Again the obligatory professions of loyalty to the king were made, but this document contained a thinly veiled threat that if matters were not made right, then independence was the likely consequence:

Lest this declaration should disquiet the minds of our friends and fellow-subjects in any part of the empire, we assure them that we mean not to dissolve that union which has so long and so happily subsisted between us, and which we sincerely wish to see restored. — Necessity has not yet driven us into that desperate measure, or induced us to excite any other nation to war against them. — We have not raised armies with ambitious designs of separating from Great-Britain, and establishing independent states. We fight not for glory or for conquest. We exhibit to mankind the remarkable spectacle of a people attacked by unprovoked enemies, without any imputation or even suspicion of offence. They boast of their privileges and civilization, and yet proffer no milder conditions than servitude or death.