Why Did The Second Continental Congress Adopt The Olive Branch Petition?

Quick Answer:

  • First, To Avoid The Probable Armed Confrontation Against English Royal Forces.
  • Secondly, To Show And Ensure The Loyalists That They Tried Till The End To Negotiate With British Authorities.

There were two main reasons why did the Second Continental Congress adopt and choose to send the Olive Branch Petition to the British authority.

So, what they were?

Let’s find them out below…

Why Did The Continental Congress Adopt The Olive Branch Petition

1. To Avoid Probable Armed Confrontations Against English Royal Forces

Of course, you know, the very first reason for sending Olive Branch Petition was none other but to interrupt the war situation between Great Britain and the 13 North American colonies.

Actually, the Olive Branch Petition was the last attempt from the American colonists’ side to avoid that situation.

Although, sending the Petition didn’t mean that they were afraid of fighting against the English.

Through this, they just send a proposal to the British King George III to withdraw all the 5 Intolerable acts of 1774, Otherwise, the war would be inevitable.


2. To Ensure Loyalists That They Tried Till The Very End For Peace Negotiation

Its second reason was to ensure the loyalists and other American people, who still believed in British rule and wanted to come to a proper negotiation with them.

The leaders who were leading the Continental Congress tried to ensure these loyalists and other common people that they had tried till the very end to solve the tension with a proper attempt.

This historic Petition was adopted by the Second Continental Congress on July 5th, 1775, and send on July 8th.

However, it made no effect.

King George III refused to read and accept it; contrary he declared them traitors.

Although, in some cases, the Petition didn’t make any sense because Congress already authorized the invasion of British Canada’s Quebec province, a week before.

Why Did The Continental Congress Adopt The Olive Branch Petition

Did Congress’ Leaders Really Want A Peace Negotiation With Britain?

This is quite an interesting fact because only a week earlier Congress already granted the invasion of British Canada’s Quebec province.

Therefore, it looks like the Petition was nothing but a just way to show the loyalists that they tried till the end for a discussion with England.

Looking at this, it seems that most of the American leaders had no interest to make discussions with King George III and Parliament.

Now, if they wanted something, it was only freedom of the 13 colonies.

olive branch petition

Which Group of Leaders Mainly Initiated Sending Olive Branch Petition?

Generally, among colonists, we found ‘Patriots’ and ‘Loyalists’.

But do you know what there was another group of colonists, who were Patriots but they didn’t want Britishers to leave the 13 colonies?

Yes, this group of patriots afraid that the full independence of the 13 colonies would provoke other imperial European powers to invade their land.

They believed in solving the tension through proper diplomatic negotiation.

Some of the influential names of this group were John Dickinson, John Jay, Benjamin Franklin, John Rutledge, etc.

They played the main role in drafting the Petition.

Even, leaders like John Dickinson were so concerned about his belief that he even didn’t sign the Declaration of Independence.


What Would Happen If King George Accepted Their Proposal?

If King George had accepted the proposal of the colonists, it would not have been a war.

And again, if the war would not happen, the 13 colonies would never become independent.

It was also likely that if George had accepted their proposal, he would have to abolish all laws of the Intolerable Acts.

Because without it, colonists’ would never be calmed.

This too would have been the defeat of the British.

But finally whatever, nothing happened like this.

King George rejected their proposal and the revolutionary war broke out and 13 colonies succeeded in achieving freedom.


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