The Royal Response

Just War, Rebellion, and the American Revolution: John Keown and Modern Critiques on Whether the War of Independence was Just.

Part 22: The Royal Response (1775) – A Proclamation By the King for Suppressing Rebellion and Sedition (1775)

By Leonard O. Goenaga

King George would reject even receiving the Second Continental Congress’ Olive Branch Petition, and instead responded with his own proclamation. In August 1775, King George essentially declared war against the Congress in issuing A Proclamation, By the King, For Suppressing Rebellion and Sedition. The proclamation would declare the Colonists traitorous rebels, and call upon both civil and military officers:

[T]o exert their utmost endeavours to suppress such rebellion, and to bring the traitors to justice, but that all our subjects of this Realm, and the dominions thereunto belonging, are bound by law to be aiding and assisting in the suppression of such rebellion, and to disclose and make known all traitorous conspiracies and attempts against us, our crown and dignity. 1

In short, the Olive Branch Petition was responded to with the promise of a bushel of arrows. On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress declared independence from the British Empire.


1. See Appendix 8 for a copy of A Proclamation, By the King, For Suppressing Rebellion and Sedition (1775)

Self-Educated American Research Writer, Leonard O. Goenaga
, is a Baptist Associate Pastor (assigned to the Youth) at Glory of God Christian Fellowship, Raleigh, North Carolina; a Mentor (Computer Lab/Technology) at the Wake Forest Boys & Girls Club; a husband (to Katrina); and rugby coach. He holds a B.A. in Political Science (with a specific concentration in Political Theory, Social Contract, and Constitutionalism), a second B.A. in Religious Studies (with a concentration in World Religions and Early Christianity), a Master of Divinity in Christian Ethics, and an A.A. in Entrepreneurship. He has begun Ph.D with a concentration likely centered on an analysis of Locke’s Social Contract, H.L.A. Hart’s Legal System, American Constitutionalism, and Baptist Ecclesiology of Covenant. Visit his website at