Good History Essay Example
New Jersey Colony and role in declaration of Independence
The state of New Jersey played a crucial role in the declaration of Independence that eventually led to the war of Independence. Kiernan and D’Agnese points out that out of the 56 signers to the Declaration of Independence, 5 of them, namely Abraham Clark, Francis Hopkinson, John Witherspoon, John Hart and Richard Stockton were from the state of New Jersey (“Road to Revolution”: New Jersey Monthly Web.). As pointed out in an online publication, the Governor of New Jersey from the period of 1763 until 1775 was William Franklin who remained a hard core British loyalist until the end. (“Benjamin Franklin”: History. Web)
In an online article on the history of New Jersey, it has been pointed out that in the period preceding the revolution leading to the declaration of Independence, strong feeling of resentment and anti-British feelings had spread throughout the state of New Jersey. (“A short History of New Jersey”: New Jersey Government. Web) It has further been pointed out that out of the total population of New Jersey, almost one-third of the population supported England whereas one third of the population was in favour of rebels and consequentially supported the rebels and the remaining population maintained neutral stand. (“A short History of New Jersey”: New Jersey Government. Web)
In and online publication, it has been pointed out that Samuel Adams, in the year 1768, wrote the Circular Letter with a view to voice the opposition of Massachusetts to levying of taxation without any formal representation. Even though the Circular Letter was not taken seriously by the British, it did find support in the legislative assembly of New Jersey. (“The Townshend Act”: US History) Gladney points out that as New Jersey did not have its own newspaper or other popular publication, the people of New Jersey relied upon the neighbouring states of New York and Philadelphia for obtaining political information and the nature of journalism in the neighbouring state influenced New Jersey to adopt anti-British sentiments. Further, the neighbouring states sent open letters to the residents of New Jersey inviting them to join in the rebellion (119). It has been pointed out in an online publication that there during the period preceding the revolution, there were continual disagreement on a host of issues between the governors who were appointed by the crown and the popularly selected assemblies. This was further accentuated by several economically unwise decisions taken and implemented by the British Government pushed New Jersey towards joining Philadelphia vis-à-vis the revolution.(“New Jersey: A Guide of its Present and Past” Web.).
As pointed out in an online encyclopaedia on New Jersey, the influence of the British loyalist Governor Franklin had a tremendous influence over the political thought process of New Jersey that consequentially led New Jersey to reluctantly join the movement initially. However, during the month of June, 1776, the colony sent five of its delegates to the newly formed Continental Congress, namely, Abraham Clark, Francis Hopkinson, John Witherspoon, John Hart and Richard Stockton. Each of the foregoing delegates positively affirmed and signed the American Declaration of Independence. It has further been pointed out that two days pursuant to the proclamation of the American Declaration of Independence, the state of New Jersey adopted its constitution. The divided character of New Jersey was established during this phase. It has further been pointed out that the eastern part of New Jersey was inclined towards New York whereas the western parts were influenced by Philadelphia. Travellers along the makeshift roads bought lot of contradictory ideas. The colony of New Jersey was equally divided between various loyalists. (“New Jersey” World mark Encyclopaedia of the States”)
As pointed out in an online article, New Jersey played an indispensable role in the history of American Revolution. This was fundamentally because of the location of New Jersey from the geo-political standpoint. As New Jersey was located between the Philadelphia’s capital and the British’s position of strength located in New York, the whole of New Jersey was turned into the battle ground as no place was left unaffected from the excesses of war. The online article further points out that General George Washington along with the Continental Army spent over a period of six (6) years in the New Jersey state which cumulatively is a far larger period than any other state. It has further been pointed out that eventually when the Continental Army won; each and every community of the state of New Jersey was affected by the war. New Jersey witnessed the birth of the modern day United States of America. (“New Jersey and the Revolution” National Heritage Area. Web)
Thus it can be concluded that the events that led to revolution coupled with the geo-strategic location of New Jersey lends New Jersey a special position in the declaration of independence.
Kiernan, Denise and D'Agnese, Joseph. “Road to Revolution” New Jersey Monthly: June 15, 2010 Web. February 25, 2015
“Benjamin Franklin” History. Web. N.D.
Gladney, Henry. “No Taxation Without Representation” (P.119)
Federal Writers Project. “New Jersey: A Guide of its Present and Past” Web. N.D.
US History. Pre-Columbian to the New Millennium “The Townshend Act” Web. N.D
“New Jersey”. Worldmark Encyclopaedia of the States. Web. 2007
“New Jersey and the Revolution” Cross Roads of American Revolution National Heritage Area. Web. N.D
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