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The Declaration of Independence is a document that was written in 1776 that declared independence for the 13 American colonies from Great Britain. It was an important step in American history and set the stage for the American Revolution. Let’s explore the background, purpose, and key points of the Declaration of Independence.
Before we delve into the Declaration of Independence, let’s understand the events that lead to it. The 13 colonies were under British rule and British taxation laws were impacting their independence. The colonists were not happy with these taxes since they had no say in the decision-making process. They felt that the British government was taking advantage of them. Many conflicts arose between the British and the colonists leading to the Boston Tea Party, the Boston Massacre, and ultimately the American Revolutionary War.
The purpose of the Declaration of Independence was to publicly declare that the 13 American colonies were no longer under British rule and were independent states. It was a way to explain why this was necessary and to convince others to support this new nation.
1. Unalienable Rights
The Declaration of Independence starts with a powerful statement, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
In this statement, the Declaration is declaring the unalienable rights of all people. Unalienable rights are basic human rights that cannot be taken away by any government or authority. These rights include life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
2. Complaints Against Britain
The Declaration of Independence lists all the complaints against the British government and the reasons why the colonists wanted their independence from Great Britain. Some of these complaints included the King’s refusal to cooperate with the colonists, issues with taxation, infringement on the right to a fair trial, and the prohibition of trade with other nations.
3. Social Contract
The Declaration of Independence introduces the concept of the social contract, which is the idea that the government has a duty to protect the rights of the people and if they don’t, the people have a right to change the government. This is why the colonists believed they had the right to declare their independence from Great Britain.
4. The Right to Revolution
Another key idea in the Declaration of Independence is the right to revolution. If the government is not serving the people, then the people have the right to overthrow and replace it. This idea was controversial at the time but helped shape ideas about democracy and the role of the government in modern times.
The Declaration of Independence has 56 signatures, with John Hancock’s signature being the most well-known. These men who signed the Declaration of Independence were known as the Founding Fathers and were instrumental in drafting and promoting the document.
In conclusion, the Declaration of Independence was a turning point in American history and outlined many key principles that have shaped the country up until today. The Declaration of Independence was a way to explain to the world why the 13 colonies wanted independence from Great Britain and articulated the idea that all people have unalienable rights. The concept of the social contract and the right to revolution helped pave the way for modern democracy.
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.