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PSI Source: Olive Branch Petition
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This document was the final effort made by the North American colonists to petition King George III to settle their differences amicably. In 1775, although action had already been brought against the colonists in certain areas, many representatives to the Continental Congress remained unprepared to declare independence from Great Britain. In an effort to settle the differences amicably and avoid further fighting, the Continental Congress sent two copies of this petition to the King. Unfortunately, King George refused to accept the petition, and it was this refusal that cleared the way for the drafting of the Declaration of Independence. As you read this document, consider the language that is used. What is the prevailing tone of this document?

Investigate the source using the zoom and navigational tools in the Flash player and then answer the questions below.


What is the prevailing complaint made by the colonists? If you were Lord Dunmore or King George III, would you take the document seriously?


If you were a member of the Continental Congress and were not in favor of declaring independence, what parts of this treaty do you think would be most significant in terms of keeping the peace?


Compare this petition to the other documents in this collection. Discuss the similarities and differences that you notice in the tone of the documents.

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