The Declaration of the United Colonies: America's First Just War Statement

Journal of Military Ethics 14 (1):7-34 (2015)

Was the American War for Independence just? In July 1775, a full year before the Declaration of Independence, the colonists argued that they had the right to self-defense. They made this argument using language that accords with what we can broadly call classical just war thinking, based, inter alia, on their claim that their provincial authorities had a responsibility to defend the colonists from British violence. In the 1775 Declaration of the United Colonies, written two months after British troops attacked colonial citizens, such arguments are made. This essay carefully looks at the historical context of the 1775 Declaration, the arguments made by the colonists, and the philosophical and theological underpinnings of those claims, and concludes that the colonists made a compelling argument commensurate with just war thinking
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DOI 10.1080/15027570.2015.1035948
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The Unvarnished Doctrine: Locke, Liberalism and the American Revolution.Steven M. Dworetz - 1993 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 29 (2):273-280.

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