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Many colonists, however, had developed a different conception of the empire.
The colonies were not directly represented in Parliament, and colonists argued that Parliament had no right to levy taxes upon them.
After ratifying the text on July 4, Congress issued the Declaration of Independence in several forms.
It was initially published as the printed Dunlap broadside that was widely distributed and read to the public.
The Declaration announced that the thirteen American colonies at war with the Kingdom of Great Britain would now regard themselves as thirteen independent sovereign states no longer under British rule.
As the king wrote to North in November 1774, "blows must decide whether they are to be subject to this country or independent".
Many colonists no longer believed that Parliament had any sovereignty over them, yet they still professed loyalty to King George, who they hoped would intercede on their behalf.
by 1774 American writers such as Samuel Adams, James Wilson, and Thomas Jefferson were arguing that Parliament was the legislature of Great Britain only, and that the colonies, which had their own legislatures, were connected to the rest of the empire only through their allegiance to the Crown.
The issue of Parliament's authority in the colonies became a crisis after Parliament passed the Coercive Acts (known as the Intolerable Acts in the colonies) in 1774 to punish the Province of Massachusetts for the Boston Tea Party of 1773.