When the Declaration of Independence was originally, signed, the king had not immediately spoken about it. In fact, he had remained quiet for months before making any speech about it. However, on October 31st, 1776, King George III finally makes a speech before the British Parliament regarding the American Revolutionary leaders officially declaring their independence that summer. During his speech, King George III admits that the war between the United States and Britain is not going as well as he had hoped.
When it was time for the king to finally address the British Parliament, he discussed the finalization of the Declaration of Independence and the leaders of the revolution who signed it. The king commented on how desperate and daring the leaders spirit were as their object had always been to achieve power and dominion, now suddenly feel to openly renounce every connection politically to this country as well as any allegiance to the crown. Also, the king did have some uplifting news to Parliament as to share the successful victory of the British over the Continental Army, led by General George Washington, on August 27th, 1776 in what was called the Battle of Long Island. However, the king did not want Parliament to become complacent and warned them by saying, “notwithstanding the fair prospect, it was necessary to prepare for another campaign.”
Regardless of the harsh words spoken by King George III, Admiral Richard Howe and his brother General William Howe still thought there was a possibility to seek out the Americans and persuade them to rejoin the British Empire after their embarrassing loss at the Battle of Long Island. After all, it would have been easy for the British to have contained Washington’s effort from escaping from Long Island and have captured the commander in chief as well as the majority of the Patriot officer corps. The Howe brothers could have easily forced into submission the former colonies by charging Washington and his officers with being traitors and then executing all of them. Instead, they allowed the general and his officers to escape in hopes of the Patriot’s opinion to change and decide to go back to the mother country.
Throughout history, there have been battles and wars that would be decided by a single decision. Whether the choice be to attack or retreat, become ruthless or show mercy; one plan of action can result in a hopeless defeat or a triumphant victory. The Howe brother’s decision at the end of the Battle at Long Island had such an impact but not in an immediate victory or loss of the American Revolution. However, their attempts failed at negotiating a quick surrender; unfortunately, this would extend the War for Independence and continued on for a long four more years. Although the end of the war came on October 19th, 1781, it would be the British who would surrender to the Americans after the conclusion of the Battle of Yorktown.
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