Declaration of Independence

This is a summary and explanation of the Declaration of Independence

The Preamble tells why the Continental Congress created the Declaration of Independence. Declaration of Natural Rights 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. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. People may altar their government if it fails its purpose, or set up a new government. The Declaration states the governments exist to protect the rights of the people. Governments receive their power only through the peoples agreement. In other words, The government doesnt control the people the people control the government. A Bill of Indictment is the complaints the colonists had against Parliament and the British Monarch, King George the III. It is also known as the List of Grievances. An example of a few of the complaints are: For cutting off trade with the other countries of the world. For imposing taxes without consent. For housing large amounts of soldiers in the colonies. Refusing to pass important laws. Destroying the colonies own legislatures.  A Statement of Independence The continental congress says that after all the petitions they had sent the king didnt respond to them and continued to oppress them. In the end they said that after all of the ways they had tried to stop the injustice.

Who What When Where Why How Effect

Richard Henry Lee first proposed the idea of a Declaration of Independence  and the Second Continental Congress thought it a good idea  and it was immediatly put into action. Thomas Jefferson wrote the rough draft of the Declaration of Independence with help from a small group of people assigned to a committee, known as the Committee of Five which included: John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman and Robert Livingston during the Second Continental Congress. There were 56 signers, John Hancock was the first to sign, but most of them signed either on August 2, 1776 or on a later date.
 New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

  • Massachusetts: Samuel Adams, John Adams, John Hancock, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry
  • Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery
  • Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott
  • New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris
  • New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark
  • Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross
  • Delaware: George Read, Caesar Rodney, Thomas McKean
  • Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton
  • Virginia: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton
  • North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn
  • South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton
  • Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

The Declaration of Independence declared the colonies freedom from Great Britain on July 4, 1776. 

It was proposed during the Second Continental Congress June 7, 1776 by Richard Henry Lee to help unify the colonies with a common cause to fight for and to rid themselves of their unhelpful sister country. The Lee resolution was approved on July 2, 1776, and after a few revisions the Congress accepted the final draft on July 4, 1776. It was signed by the delegates of the Second Continental Congress primarily John Hancock who was the president of the Second Continental Congress.

The Second Continental Congress between June 7 and July 4, 1776

The reasons the Declaration of Independence was made are listed in the Declaration under the List of Grievances. Some examples of them are: the British government had inflicted a lot of pain and suffering among the colonists and they taxed them continuously, supposedly as repayment for the French and Indian War that the British fought in the Americas. They made the colonists house their soldiers and kept armies there in times of peace, and many, many more.

The first continental congress laid the foundation for the Declaration by starting the Revolutionary War, and inflaming the citizens of the 13 colonies through the pamphlet Common Sense by Thomas Paine. Then during the 2nd continental congress, Richard Henry Lee came up with the idea of uniting the colonists and declaring independence from Great Britain. Then it was drafted by the Committee of Five and was approved by the 2nd Continental Congress. They finished revising it and sent it to a printer and on July 4, 1776 the Declaration of Independence became public.

It declared the colonists independent from Great Britain. And gave the colonists a common cause to fight for.

Info Bibliography

Ritchie, Donald, and Albert Broussard. Taxes and Boycotts. 1997. Westerville: McGraw-Hill Companies Inc., 1997.
Rakove, Jack N. "Declaration of Independence." World Book Online Reference Center. 2007. [Place of access. Date of access.] "Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776." Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776. 2000. MultiEducator Inc. . 1 Feb 2007 <>. "United States Declaration of Independence." United States Declaration of Independence. 18:57, 1 March 2007. Wikipedia. 1 Mar 2007 <>.

Pictures Bibliography