Independence: April–July 1776
In Britain after Easter 1776, Prime Minister Lord North's administration had no further political decisions to make on America. Neither the coercion of armed force nor the conciliation of the Peace Commission was to produce the desired response. Colonial opinion had already altered, and those Americans who favoured a break with Britain took care to ensure that the decision for independence would be made before the British peace mission arrived. The change in colonial attitude was to become known in Britain during the summer of 1776. The American Declaration of Independence, drafted by Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, was a dishonest piece of propaganda, blaming George III personally for the British policy decisions of the previous thirteen years that had hitherto correctly been attributed to his ministers and to Parliament. The significant debate in Britain over the American Revolution was conducted privately at Whitehall and publicly at Westminster. Several myths and misconceptions distract attention from the root cause of the revolution, the question whether or not Parliament was the legislature for the British Empire.
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