dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another

Whether the American people were in truth "one people" was a matter of great controversy between them and the British. In the British view, the Americans were British subjects. They did not form one people, distinct from the people of the kingdom of Great Britain. The Declaration implies that the Americans had long been, or perhaps had always been, a separate people from the British. The long political union between Britain and the colonies, in the American view, had resulted from the consent of the Americans' colonial legislatures. Because the British government had violated the principles of just government, it was now time to separate.