What Was The Purpose of The Olive Branch Petition?
The purpose of the Olive Branch Petition was to solve the growing tensions between Great Britain and the 13 colonies of North America through a diplomatic solution.
The Petition was the very last attempt from the 13 colonies’ side to avoid the Revolutionary War.
The Second Continental Congress adopted the document on July 5th, 1775, and sent it to the English authority on July 8th, 1775.
However, no result came out of the attempt because the British Parliament and King George III refused the colonies’ demands. Especially, their demand for revocation of the 5 Intolerable Acts.
[Watch this reference YouTube video to understand the petition better]
What Second Continental Congress Proposed Via The Olive Branch Petition?
Via the document, Congress showed its loyalty to the British crown.
In the document, they proposed Great Britain withdraw the five Intolerable Acts, which was, of course, the main culprit of all the growing tensions between these two sides.
Did English King George III And Parliament Accept It?
No, the English King George III and the Parliament didn’t accept it.
On the contrary, King George refused to read, considering it as a dishonor to the empire’s glory; and even, the King declared them traitors.
Rejection from the King and Parliament’s side closed all the doors for a diplomatic solution to the tensions.
Patriots like John Adams used it as a push toward the 13 colonies’ independence.
Now, it was clear that the Revolutionary War was inevitable. In August 1775, Congress formally declared rebellion by the Proclamation of Rebellion.
Did Congress’ Leaders Really Want To Solve The Crisis?
The Second Continental Congress’ leaders had different viewpoints on negotiating the tensions.
Though Congress’ some leaders wanted to solve the crisis; at the same time, some didn’t.
Delegates like John Dickinson, John Hancock, John Jay, and Benjamin Franklin were in favor to solve the matter through some negotiations; but delegates like John Adams, Patrick Henry, and John Adams wanted the 13 colonies’ full independence from Great Britain.
Did You Know?
1. Although, the 13 colonies proposed English authority for solving the crisis; interestingly, a week earlier, before sending the Olive Branch Petition, the Continental Congress already issued the invasion of British Canada’s Quebec province.
2. Before, the king’s rejection of the Olive Branch Petition, the majority of Congress’ delegates wanted reconciliation with the English authority. Only a few leaders, including John Adams, believed that the war was inevitable.
3. John Dickinson was the main author of the Olive Branch Petition. He never supported the 13 colonies’ full independence from Great Britain. Even, for this reason, Dickinson never signed in the Declaration of Independence.