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An introduction to the history of the declaration of independence in the united states

This meant that they were breaking away from British rule. They would no longer be a part of the British Empire and would fight for their freedom.

The Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution

On June 11, 1776 the Continental Congress appointed five leaders, called the Committee of Five, to write a document explaining why they were declaring their independence. The members decided that Thomas Jefferson should write the first draft.

Thomas Jefferson wrote the first draft over the next few weeks and, after some changes made by the rest of the committee, they presented it to Congress on June 28, 1776.

Not everyone agreed at first on declaring independence. Some wanted to wait until the colonies had secured stronger alliances with foreign countries.

See a Problem?

In the first round of voting South Carolina and Pennsylvania voted "no" while New York and Delaware chose not to vote. The Congress wanted the vote to be unanimous, so they continued to discuss the issues. The next day, July 2nd, South Carolina and Pennsylvania reversed their votes.

  1. As new delegates joined the Congress, they were also allowed to sign. This engrossed copy of the Declaration was produced by Timothy Matlack, assistant to the secretary of Congress.
  2. Most were aware that they were signing what would be their death warrant in case the Revolution failed, and the Declaration served to make anything short of victory in the Revolution unthinkable.
  3. A copy was also sent to the British government.
  4. John Hancock's famous signature is almost five inches long.
  5. This meant that the agreement to declare independence passed with 12 yes votes and 1 abstention meaning New York chose not to vote. In point of fact, other examples of his signature indicate that he typically signed his name in this way.

Delaware decided to vote "yes" as well. This meant that the agreement to declare independence passed with 12 yes votes and 1 abstention meaning New York chose not to vote.

  • In the first round of voting South Carolina and Pennsylvania voted "no" while New York and Delaware chose not to vote;
  • Many of the grievances are examples of violations of fundamental English law, such as "imposing taxes on us without our Consent," and "depriving us, in many Cases, of the Benefits of Trial by Jury;
  • Its most famous 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," expresses not only the founding ethos of the United States, but established a precedent that would be used later in other struggles for freedom, including the struggle for civil rights in the United States;
  • The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When, in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the Causes which impel them to the Separation;
  • The conclusion contains, at its core, the Lee Resolution that had been passed on July 2.

July 4, 1776 On July 4, 1776 the Congress officially adopted the final version of the Declaration of Independence. This day is still celebrated in the United States as Independence Day.

Declaration of Independence Reproduction: William Stone Click for larger view After the signing, the document was sent to a printer to make copies. Copies were sent to all the colonies where the declaration was read aloud in public and published in newspapers.

A copy was also sent to the British government. Famous Words The Declaration of Independence did more than just say the colonies wanted their freedom. It explained why they wanted their freedom. It listed all the bad things that the king had done to the colonies and that the colonies had rights which they felt they should fight for. Perhaps one of the most famous statements in the history of the United States is in the Declaration of Independence: Fun Facts about the Declaration of Independence The movie National Treasure says that there is a secret written on the back of the original document.

Declaration of Independence (United States)

There isn't a secret, but there is some writing. It says "Original Declaration of Independence dated 4th July 1776".

  • It listed all the bad things that the king had done to the colonies and that the colonies had rights which they felt they should fight for;
  • Preamble 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;
  • Trumbull's painting can also be found on the back of the U.

Fifty-six members of Congress signed the Declaration. It's on display in the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom. John Hancock's famous signature is almost five inches long. He was also the first to sign the document.

Livingston was a member of the Committee of Five, but didn't get to sign the final copy. One member of Congress, John Dickenson, did not sign the Declaration of Independence because he still hoped that they could have peace with Britain and remain a part of the British Empire. Activities Take a ten question quiz about this page. Listen to a recorded reading of this page: Your browser does not support the audio element. Learn more about the Revolutionary War: