The declaration of Independence was framed by the Second Continental Congress. It may be noted that the idea of complete break with England grew slowly but by the turn of 1776 the event had taken such turn that the demand for separation became most vocal. The King’s Proclamation branded the colonies as rebels.
Consequently, it was felt that if the uprising was put down, the leaders would be caught and probably executed. Thus the things had reached a point of no return. Lexington and Concord had aroused the spirit of war in the entire country. It was felt that the King had thrusted the war on the colonies.
The time for petitions and resolutions had gone and the issues could be settled only through fight. This new attitude of the colonies was beautifully summed up by Patrick Henry in the Continental Congress when he said:
“We have petitioned, we have prostrated, we have remonstrated, we have supplicated, we have prostraed ourselves at the foot of the thorne, and it has been all in vain, we must fight.”