There are many ways to define tyranny. The Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary defines tyranny as "an arbitrary, despotic government; esp: rigorous, cruel and oppressive government." Many people tend to associate the British with tyranny in relation to the Revolutionary War but perhaps that assumption needs a second glance. The British, up until 1763, governed the colonies through a policy of "salutary neglect." Although they had strict trading laws in place, it was not until this time period of necessity and debt that they truly enforced these laws. In fact, the internal colonial government was just as much of, if not more, a tyranny then the British.
The colonial ruling class was made up almost solely of the wealthy and educated upper class that governed the colonies in a virtual tyranny. The distribution of wealth in the colonies was extremely uneven, creating huge class divisions.In the early 1770's the top 5% of Boston's taxpayers controlled 49% of the city's taxable assets. The growing resentment of these vile conditions is demonstrated in the way in which the poor colonists, sometimes known as "the mob" went about protesting their condition and grievances. Instead of merely making a point of protest, the colonists would smash and destroy any sign of wealth in their way in an attempt at leveling. This worried the upper-class colonials such as Samuel Adams and Thomas Jefferson. They realized that although for the moment the mob's hatred was turned towards the British-elite, it could soon be turned toward them. As protests grew to be more and more violent the rich set up armed patrols for their own protection. In North Carolina a powerful group of white farmers known as the Regulators formed in protest of wealthy and corrupt officials presiding over them. The Declaration of Independence itself is a huge violation of the very principles for which it is