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PDF Name: Declaration of Independence PDF
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About Declaration of Independence
On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence. The paper declared the secession of 13 British colonies in North America from the United Kingdom. It was the penultimate phase in a long process that culminated to the colonies’ definitive independence from the United Kingdom.
Declaration of Independence Summary
The majority of colonists were not wanting independence when the American Revolution started in April 1775. The majority of them just want more autonomy inside the British Empire. As the battle progressed, though, many colonies grew to desire independence from British authority. More soldiers and ships were sent from the United Kingdom. In skirmishes and conflicts, many colonists died. The conflict also wreaked havoc on the economy.
The booklet Common Sense was published by Thomas Paine in January 1776. It drew attention to the king’s mistreatment of the colonists. The booklet was widely distributed, and support for independence surged.
The colonists hoped to gain assistance from France, a long-time British foe. The colonists would have to formally separate from their original nation in order to do so. The Declaration of Independence aided in the process.
On June 7, Virginian Richard Henry Lee requested that the Continental Congress in Philadelphia consider declaring independence from the United Kingdom.
The official proclamation was written by a five-member committee established by Congress. The initial draught was written by Thomas Jefferson. Other members of the committee, including John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston, recommended a few revisions. Jefferson leaned largely on the political doctrines established by English philosopher John Locke in his work On Civil Government while penning the Declaration of Independence.
Jefferson opened the declaration by stating that everyone has inherent rights and that it is the government’s job to defend those rights. The colonies’ cause for pursuing independence was based on particular instances in which King George III had infringed their rights.