What Were the Suffolk Resolves?

The Suffolk Resolves stated the intentions of the pre-Revolutionary War colonists to form their own military, refused to pay British taxes, cut off trade ties with Britain and its colonies in the West Indies and formed their own governments. They were a pre-cursor to the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution. They were also an important step in the organization of the colonies against British imposition.

The Suffolk Resolves were drafted in direct response to the Coercive Acts of 1774. Following the Boston Tea Party, the British were looking for a way to punish the colonists and re-establish their authority in the colonies, particularly Massachusetts. The Coercive Acts closed the Boston Harbor and called for the disbanding of military troops by the colonists. They also forbid any sort of public meetings held for the purpose of rebelling against the British monarchy and exempted British British officials from prosecution for any sort of wrong doing. The colonists were infuriated by Britain's attempt to assert such force over the colonies and, in their draft of the Suffolk Resolves, iterated the right of the colonists as British citizens under the British colonists. Their argument was that, as citizens of Britain, they were entitled to the same rights as other British citizens. When this approach was unsuccessful, events were set into motion for the colonists to declare independence.