The Olive Branch Petition was drafted by John Dickenson during the Second Continental Congress on July 5 1775. The American Revolution had already started with the Battles of Concord, Lexington and Bunker Hill. The members of the Continental Congress disagreed about what steps to take in order to dissolve the confrontation with the King. Some wanted Independence even if it meant war. .
The Loyalists did not want to betray King George III, even though they disagreed with taxation without representation. They met a compromise to plea with the King one last time to reach a reasonable solution. They called it the Olive Branch Petition after an ancient symbol of light and peace. According to biblical reference, the oil from the fruit of one olive tree can supply the needs for one family for a long time. The petition declared the colonies loyal to the King and said they only want peace with England. .
On July 8, 1775, the members of the Continental Congress signed the document and sent it to the King. Among the signatures were those of John Hancock, Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Tomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, John Jay, Lewis Morris, Roger Sherman, and other founding fathers. King George refused to read the petition. He said it was an illegal document created by an illegal congress. On August 23, 1775, he proclaimed that the colonists had "proceeded to open and avowed rebellion".
The Olive Branch Petition represents the final effort of the Colonists to amend the differences with the mother country. Some people think that if the King had accepted the petition the Americans would have fought for Independence nevertheless. The petition would have patched things up with the colonists and the mother country for a short time. Sooner or later more differences would arise, and more colonists would want to fight for independence than did before. One way that the war for Independence could have been avoided is if the mother country had some representation in the colonies, such as a King.