What is the Declaration of Independence?
The Declaration of Independence is a very important legal document, one of the most important ones in the history of the United States of America. The Declaration of Independence represents the first step made officially to stop Great Britain from controlling the 13 colonies. The Declaration of Independence was written by Thomas Jefferson during the Second Continental Congress. It took seventeen days to write the Declaration of Independence.
Why Do We Have the Declaration of Independence?
The Declaration of Independence was a way for the British colonists in America to fight against Great Britain. These colonists were very used to being their own bosses in many different ways. They felt that King George III and the British Parliament were trying to take away many of their freedoms through unfair laws. For example, the Crown would place very high taxes on the colonists, and would interfere with overseas trade. The colonists felt that King George III was a tyrant.
On April 19, 1775, the Revolutionary War broke out at the Battle of Lexington and Concord.
Once the Second Continental Congress finally met to talk about stronger efforts for independence in May 1775, American colonies were very angry and tense. American colonists who did not want to remain under British rule called themselves “Patriots,” while those who were faithful to England called themselves the “Loyalists.”
On June 11, 1776, a committee of five men was appointed by the Second Continental Congress to write a Declaration of Independence which would free them from British Rule. These five men were John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston. Thomas Jefferson wrote the very first draft of the Declaration of Independence.
The Declaration of Independence has five sections. These sections were the Preamble, Statement of Human Rights, the Charges Against Human Rights, the Charges Against the King and Parliament, and a Statement of Separation and Signatures.
The purpose of the Declaration of Independence was to state that the colonies were from Great Britain. The Declaration of Independence also described the principles that were the basis for wanting independence. The Declaration of Independence said that all men are created equal and they are all entitled to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
The committee thought that this draft was almost perfect. They presented the Declaration of Independence to Congress after making a few small corrections. After a few more changes, the Declaration of Independence was approved.
The signers of the Declaration of Independence stated that the new states that were representatives for had the right to wage war against Great Britain, trade the way they liked, and create their own laws. The new government of the Country would be for the people and by the people, different from any other governments modern history had seen. On July 4, 1776, church bells rang out to celebrate the day the Declaration of Independence was accepted and our country was officially born.