For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
This charge quotes parliament's repeal of the stamp tax in 1766; although the tax was repealed, parliament asserted its authority to legislate for the colonies "in all cases whatsoever." This provision was at the root of British policy after 1765, and it stated with absolute clarity that in principle the British government could simply do as it pleased with the American people, as if that people were its slaves. This was the heart of what the colonists objected to. According to the Declaration, governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed; according to the British, governments may justly govern in defiance of the consent of the governed. The charge also refers to an act of the British Parliament in 1767 punishing the colony of New York for failing to provide for the maintenance of British troops stationed there. Parliament declared that until the New York legislature complied with the law requiring such provision, it was "suspended."