The events that lead to the Revolutionary War clearly exhibit the evolution of the colonist's ideals regarding their rights and liberties. The English colonists had long held the utmost loyalty to the British crown, never distinguishing themselves from their British counterparts back in England; however, the colonists had gradually begun to embrace a new ideology in regard to their rights in liberties. By 1765, when Daniel Dulany wrote his attack on virtual representation, the English colonists were identified as "British-Americans" This simple reference indicates that the colonists were no longer content being just Englishmen, nor with English law and especially taxation being imposed upon them without some form of colonial consent or representation. The evolving ideals of the colonists were perhaps best summarized with Dulany's statement, "The relationship between the British-Americans and the English electors is a knot too infirm to be relied on as a competent security" (Beasley 80).
From the various documents declaring distinct rights and rebuking British mandates that emerged during this critical time, a definitive pathway of change can be traced that lead to a higher appreciation for rights and liberties as well as more individualistic ideals than were previously exhibited by the colonists. By the 1760's disputes with England were increasing and Great Britain struggled to organize the colonies and lay rest to conflicts with the colonists, in "The Proclamation of 1763" King George III tried to make good on his promise of no western expansion while attempting to keep in perspective the best interest of the English colonists. However, the proclamation was sorely misinterpreted, as the colonist viewed it a denial of their right to expand their personal land holdings. While this was perhaps a valiant effort on behalf of the throne to organize and to please the colonist, it would only help to more firmly plant the seeds of independence. Even as tensions between Britain and the colonies were at an all time high, many colonists were still very much loyal to the crown and had no direct intention of a complete succession from England. This lingering sense of loyalty was most evident in "The Olive Branch Petition", which was sent to King George III in 1775, only one year prior to the Declaration of Independence.
This document expressed a deep desire amongst the colonists to reconcile with the throne and end the ongoing conflict. In the petition, the colonists referred to themselves as "your majesty's faithful subjects", which clearly exhibits their lack of desire to entirely severe ties with Great Britain. The petition would be the colonist's final plea for reconciliation, given that King George refused the document and declared the colonies in rebellion, which in turn brought the conflict between England and the colonies to a climax that resulted in the rise of an extraordinary nation.