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Declaration of Independence
Transcript of Declaration of Independence
Writer: Thomas Jefferson
Editors: Ben Franklin, John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert Livingston
Year: Summer of 1776
Place: Philadelphia, PA
Thomas Paine arrived in the colonies in 1774. He wrote Common Sense anonymously in January of 1776.
Common sense is a 47-page pamphlet
that argued colonists should seek
independence from Great Britain.
Tells colonists in plain English, “tis time to part with England”
All men possess UNALIENABLE RIGHTS: Life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.
King George had violated those rights.
Declaration lists the grievances against King George III (list of complaints)
Colonists had a right to break away and form new government.
Patriots vs. Loyalists
Patriots- People who chose to fight for independence
People who remained loyal to Great Britain
Abigail Adams tells delegates-“make sure to remember the ladies”.
Women left out of the Declaration (“all men are created equal”)
Jefferson included section in the Declaration attacking Britain's slave trade.
Delegates made him take it out.
Slavery would have to wait 9 more decades.
Being part of Britain would commit America to European wars
which would hamper its international trade, one of America's strong points.
The distance between Britain and America made British rule impractical
, because of the slowness of communications at the time.
Britain ruled the colonies for its own benefit
, and put the needs of Britain before the welfare of its American colonies and the colonists living there.
Jefferson wanted Adams to write it, but all insisted Jefferson should. It took roughly 17 days to draft the Declaration.
On May 15, 1776, John Adams and Richard Henry Lee called for the Congress to call for Independence.
July 2, 1776: A vote for Declaration is taken and passed! (Only New York abstained)
July 4, 1776: The Declaration is sent to the printing Press and John Hancock signs.
July 8, 1776: The Declaration is read to the public.
August 2, 1776: Most of the other 56 signatures are gathered!
Founding Fathers thought this would be our Independence Day!
"The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable day, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more."
- John Adams (in a letter to his wife Abigail on July 3, 1776.
It sells 125,000 (maybe up to 500,000) copies. That's over 1/5th of the population.
It's the first well-organized reasoning for splitting from Britain that colonists read.
Tells colonists in plain English, "'Tis time to part with England"
Most of it is about this!
Declaration of Independence
Major points in "Common Sense"
ends with the "resolution
for independence," which said the U.S. is officially breaking ties with Great Britain.
Ouch. The U.S.
really hurt my
Why do kids move out of their parents' homes?