– Thomas Paine
What was the American reaction to the Declaration?
The Declaration of Independence was not accepted by all Americans. About two-thirds of the population was in favor of it, while one-third (the Loyalists) was against it. For the revolutionaries, the time had come. Thousands of Americans gathered and destroyed the signs and symbols that represented the British Crown. Rioters destroyed a statue of King George III in New York. Each colony declared itself an independent state and replaced the king’s governor. Citizens, including women and slaves, plunged into the War under the command of General Washington.
What was Great Britain's reaction?
The Declaration of Independence was published in mid-August. The North Ministry did not officially respond to the Declaration but secretly commissioned John Lind, a pamphleteer, to publish a response. The pamphlet was titled Answer to the Declaration of the American Congress which challenged numerous aspects of the Declaration. He asked how Congress could proclaim that “all men are created equal” without freeing their own slaves. The King declared the colonies to be in a state of rebellion and British forces returned in 1776, after which the Battle of Brooklyn was fought in August.