|United States Declaration of Independence|
The Declaration of Independence
|Created||July 4, 1776|
|Location||National Archives and Records Administration|
|Purpose||Declare independence from Great Britain|
The United States Declaration of Independence is an act of the Second Continental Congress, adopted on July 4, 1776, which declared that the Thirteen Colonies in North America were "Free and Independent States" and that "all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved. The United States National Archives and Records Administration ( NARA) is an independent agency of the United States federal government charged Thomas Jefferson (April 13 1743 – July 4 1826 was the third President of the United States (1801–1809 the principal author of the Declaration of Independence John Adams (October 30 1735 July 4 1826 was one of the most influential Founding Fathers of the United States. Benjamin Franklin ( April 17 1790 was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America. The Continental Congress was a convention of delegates from the Thirteen Colonies that became the governing body of the United States during the The Kingdom of Great Britain, also known as the United Kingdom of Great Britain, was a State in northwest Europe, in existence from 1707 to 1800 The United States of America —commonly referred to as the The Second Continental Congress was a convention of delegates from the Thirteen Colonies that met beginning in May 10 1775 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Events 836 - Pactum Sicardi, peace between the Principality of Benevento and the Duchy of Naples Year 1776 ( MDCCLXXVI) was a Leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a The Thirteen Colonies were part of what became known as British America, a name that was used by Great Britain until the Treaty of Paris (1783 recognized the " The document, formally entitled The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, explained the justifications for separation from the British crown, and was an expansion of Richard Henry Lee's Resolution (passed by Congress on July 2), which first proclaimed independence. Richard Henry Lee (January 20 1732 June 19 1794 was an American statesman from Virginia best known for proposing the motion in the Second Continental The Lee Resolution, also known as the resolution of independence, was an act of the Second Continental Congress declaring the Thirteen Colonies to Events 310 - Pope Miltiades is elected 626 - In fear of assassination Li Shimin ambushes and kills his rival An engrossed copy of the Declaration was signed by most of the delegates on August 2 and is now encased in argon and on display in the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C.
The Declaration is considered to be the founding document of the United States of America, where July 4 is celebrated as Independence Day and the nation's birthday. Events 338 BC - A Macedonian army led by Philip II defeated the combined forces of Athens and Thebes in the This article pertains to the chemical element For other uses see Argon (disambiguation. The United States National Archives and Records Administration ( NARA) is an independent agency of the United States federal government charged Washington DC ( formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, the District, or simply D The United States of America —commonly referred to as the In the United States, Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July (or the Fourth) is a Federal holiday commemorating the adoption At the time the Declaration was issued, the American colonies were "united" in declaring their independence from Great Britain. John Hancock, as the elected President of Congress, was the only person to sign the Declaration of Independence on July 4th. John Hancock ( October 8 1793 was a Massachusetts merchant and prominent patriot of the American Revolution. It was not until the following month on August 2nd that the remaining 55 other delegates began to sign the document. 
As relations between Great Britain and its American colonies became increasingly strained, the Americans set up a shadow government in each colony, with a Continental Congress and Committees of Correspondence linking these shadow governments. A shadow government is a "government-in-waiting" that remains in waiting with the intention of taking control of a Government in response to some event The First Continental Congress was a convention of delegates from twelve of the thirteen British North American colonies that met on September 5 1774 in The committees of correspondence were bodies organized by the local governments of the Thirteen Colonies during the American Revolution for the purposes of coordinating As soon as fighting broke out in April 1775, these shadow governments took control of each colony and ousted all the royal officials. The Battles of Lexington and Concord were the first military engagements of the American Revolutionary War. This article is about a type of political territory For other uses see Colony (disambiguation. Sentiment for outright independence grew rapidly in response to British actions; the options were clarified by Thomas Paine's pamphlet Common Sense, released in January 1776. Thomas Paine (January 29 1737 &ndash June 8 1809 was an English Pamphleteer, Revolutionary, radical, Inventor, and Intellectual Common Sense was a Pamphlet written by Thomas Paine. It was first published anonymously on January 10, 1776, during the American
The "Lee Resolution" presented by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia on June 7, 1776, read (in part): '"Resolved: That these united Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved. The Lee Resolution, also known as the resolution of independence, was an act of the Second Continental Congress declaring the Thirteen Colonies to Richard Henry Lee (January 20 1732 June 19 1794 was an American statesman from Virginia best known for proposing the motion in the Second Continental Events 1099 - The First Crusade: The Siege of Jerusalem begins Year 1776 ( MDCCLXXVI) was a Leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a "' The Second Continental Congress formed a committee, consisting of John Adams of Massachusetts, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, Robert R. Livingston of New York, and Roger Sherman of Connecticut (the "Committee of Five"), to draft a suitable declaration to frame this resolution. The Second Continental Congress was a convention of delegates from the Thirteen Colonies that met beginning in May 10 1775 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania John Adams (October 30 1735 July 4 1826 was one of the most influential Founding Fathers of the United States. Benjamin Franklin ( April 17 1790 was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America. Thomas Jefferson (April 13 1743 – July 4 1826 was the third President of the United States (1801–1809 the principal author of the Declaration of Independence Roger Sherman ( April 19, 1721 ( JC) April 30, 1721 ( GC) July 23, 1793) was an early The Committee of Five was the group delegated by the Second Continental Congress on June 11, 1776, to draft the United States The committee decided that Jefferson would write the draft, which he showed to Franklin and Adams. Prior to deciding on Jefferson, both Adams and Franklin turned down the offer, citing that if they wrote it people would read it with a biased eye. Franklin himself made at least 48 corrections, including changing the slogan "Life, Liberty and Property" to "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. " Jefferson then produced another copy incorporating these changes, and the committee presented this copy to the Continental Congress on June 28, 1776. Events 1098 - Fighters of the First Crusade defeat Kerbogha of Mosul. Year 1776 ( MDCCLXXVI) was a Leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a
On July 2 the Congress voted for independence by approving the Lee Resolution, twelve delegations voting in favor while the New York delegation abstained. (New York did not cast its vote for the Lee Resolution until July 9. )
The full Declaration was reworked somewhat in general session of the Continental Congress. Congress, meeting in Independence Hall in Philadelphia, finished revising Jefferson's draft statement on July 4, approved it, and sent it to a printer. Independence At the signing, Benjamin Franklin is quoted as having replied to a comment by Hancock that they must all hang together: "Yes, we must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately," a play on words indicating that failure to stay united and succeed would lead to being tried and executed, individually, for treason. Benjamin Franklin ( April 17 1790 was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America.
By Jefferson's own admission, the ideas contained in the Declaration of Independence were commonly expressed throughout the 17th and 18th centuries.  John Locke's Second Treatise of Government is probably the predominant source from which Jefferson drew inspiration. John Locke (29 August 1632 – 28 October 1704 was an English Philosopher. The Two Treatises of Government (or " Two Treatises of Government In the Former The False Principles and Foundation of Sir Robert Filmer And His Followers are Detected  John Adams claimed that Jefferson also borrowed from a piece written by James Otis and Samuel Adams in 1772.  Garry Wills has argued a case for Jefferson's strong reliance on the Scottish philosophers such as Thomas Reid.  The parallel between Jefferson's lists of George III's infractions and the list regarding James II in the 1689 English Bill of Rights is apparent.  Further, the closing paragraph of the Declaration largely echoes the wording of Richard Henry Lee's motion of June 7, 1776. 
In American Scripture (1997), Pauline Maier demonstrated that the Declaration was preceded by perhaps as many as 100 state and local declarations of independence throughout the Thirteen Colonies. Pauline Maier, born in 1938 in St Paul Minnesota, is the William R Many of these declarations expressed ideas and used language similar to Jefferson's. Most of these declarations are now obscure; the best-known, the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, is of questionable authenticity. The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence is allegedly the first Declaration of independence made in the Thirteen Colonies during the American Revolution
Stephen Lucas, who had earlier made detailed comments on this topic, suggested in 1998 that Jefferson was also inspired by the Dutch Oath of Abjuration when he wrote the Declaration. Both documents show tremendous similarities, one of the most notable being the principle of a people's right to denounce and overthrow their leaders should they fail to respect the people's laws and traditions. 
The Preamble of the Declaration is influenced by the spirit of republicanism, which was used as the basic framework for liberty. Republicanism is the Ideology of governing a nation as a Republic, with an emphasis on Liberty, Rule of law, Popular sovereignty  In addition, it reflects the concepts of natural law, and self-determination. Natural law or the law of nature ( Latin: lex naturalis) is a theory that posits the existence of a law whose content is set by Nature and that Self-determination is defined as free choice of one’s own acts without external compulsion and especially as the freedom of the people of a given Territory to determine their Ideas and even some of the phrasing were taken directly from the writings of English philosopher John Locke. John Locke (29 August 1632 – 28 October 1704 was an English Philosopher. Thomas Paine's Common Sense had been widely read and provided a simple, clear case for independence that many found compelling. Thomas Paine (January 29 1737 &ndash June 8 1809 was an English Pamphleteer, Revolutionary, radical, Inventor, and Intellectual According to Jefferson, the purpose of the Declaration was "not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of . . . but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent, and to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take. "
As a proclamation, the Declaration was used as a propaganda tool, in which the Americans tried to establish clear reasons for their rebellion that might persuade reluctant colonists to join them and establish their just cause to foreign governments that might lend them aid. The Declaration also served to unite the members of the Continental Congress. The Declaration of Independence was also used as a foreign policy announcement; since the United States were now separate and independent nations, the war was escalated from a civil war to a war of independence, and therefore foreign nations who were enemies of Great Britain were free to intervene, like the French. One in five colonists(calling themselves loyalists or Tories) refused to accept the Declaration and continued to profess their allegiance to the British monarchy, with over 700 of them signing their own "declaration" in a pub on Wall Street.  Many were upper class landowners and businessmen who felt the new republic would strip them of their land rights and social class.
The Declaration of Independence was first published in full outside North America by the Belfast Newsletter on the 23rd of August, 1776. The News Letter is one of Northern Ireland 's main daily newspapers published Monday to Saturday  A copy of the document was being transported to London via ship when bad weather forced the vessel to port at Derry. The document was then carried on horseback to Belfast for the continuation of its voyage to England, whereupon a copy was made for the Belfast newspaper. Belfast ( is the capital city of Northern Ireland and the seat of government in Northern Ireland. 
The first edition of the Declaration of Independence was reprinted at London in the August 1776 issue of The Gentleman's Magazine. The Gentleman's Magazine was founded in London by Edward Cave in January 1731 The Gentleman's Magazine had been following American issues for many years, and its editors (Edward Cave and, subsequently, David Henry) were close to Benjamin Franklin in particular, publishing several of his writings on electricity. The Declaration itself was followed in the September issue by "Thoughts on the late Declaration of the American Congress", signed only "An Englishman". The author identified certain absurdities (as he saw them) contained in the now famous words of the preamble. Most notably, he pointed out the document's inconsistency with the fact that slavery and government was still being practiced in America (emphasized in the following excerpt):
We hold (they say) these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal. In what are they created equal? Is it in size, understanding, figure, moral or civil accomplishments, or situation of life? Every plough-man knows that they are not created equal in any of these. . . . That every man hath an unalienable right to liberty; and here the words, as it happens, are not nonsense, but they are not true: slaves there are in America, and where there are slaves, there liberty is alienated. If the Creator hath endowed man with an unalienable right to liberty, no reason in the world will justify the abridgement of that liberty, and a man hath a right to do everything that he thinks proper without controul or restraint; and upon the same principle, there can be no such things as servants, subjects, or government of any kind whatsoever. In a word, every law that hath been in the world since the formation of Adam, gives the lie to this self-evident truth, (as they are pleased to term it) ; because every law, divine or human, that is or hath been in the world, is an abridgement of man's liberty. (The Gentleman's Magazine, vol. 46, pp. 403–404)
After its adoption by Congress on July 4, a handwritten draft signed by the President of Congress John Hancock and the Secretary Charles Thomson was then sent a few blocks away to the printing shop of John Dunlap. Events 836 - Pactum Sicardi, peace between the Principality of Benevento and the Duchy of Naples John Hancock ( October 8 1793 was a Massachusetts merchant and prominent patriot of the American Revolution. Charles Thomson (November 29 1729 – August 16 1824 was a Patriot leader in Philadelphia during the American Revolution and the secretary of the John Dunlap (1747 – November 27, 1812) was the printer of the first copies of the Declaration of Independence and one of the most successful Through the night between 150 and 200 copies were made, now known as "Dunlap broadsides". The Dunlap broadsides were the first published copies of the United States Declaration of Independence, printed on the night of July 4, 1776, by John The first public reading of the document was by John Nixon in the yard of Independence Hall on July 8. John Nixon (1733–1808 was a financier and official from Philadelphia who served as a militia officer in the American Revolutionary War. Independence  One was sent to George Washington on July 6, who had it read to his troops in New York on July 9. George Washington (February 22 1732 December 14 1799 served as the first President of the United States of America (1789&ndash1797 and led the A copy reached London on August 10. The 25 Dunlap broadsides still known to exist are the oldest surviving copies of the document. The original handwritten copy has not survived.
On July 19, Congress ordered a copy be "engrossed" (hand written in fair script on parchment by an expert penman) for the delegates to sign. This engrossed copy was produced by Timothy Matlack, assistant to the secretary of Congress. Timothy Matlack (c March 28, 1730 – April 14, 1829) was a merchant surveyor architect statesman and Patriot in the Most of the delegates signed it on August 2, 1776, in geographic order of their colonies from north to south, though some delegates were not present and had to sign later. Late signers were Elbridge Gerry, Oliver Wolcott, Lewis Morris, Thomas McKean, and Matthew Thornton (who, because of a lack of space, was unable to place his signature on the top right of the signing area with the other New Hampshire delegates, William Whipple and Josiah Bartlett, and had to place his signature on the lower right). Elbridge Thomas Gerry (ˈgɛri (July 17 1744 November 23 1814 was an American statesman and diplomat Oliver Wolcott ( December 1, 1726 December 1, 1797) was a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence Lewis Morris ( April 8, 1726 &ndash January 22, 1798) was an American landowner and developer from Morrisania New York. Thomas McKean (March 19 1734 June 24 1817 was an American Lawyer and Politician from New Castle, Delaware, and Philadelphia Matthew Thornton (1714 &ndash June 24, 1803) was a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of New Josiah Bartlett (November 21 1729 May 19 1795 was an American Physician and Statesman who as a Delegate to the Continental Congress As new delegates joined the congress, they were also allowed to sign. A total of 56 delegates eventually signed (see Category:Signers of the U.S. Declaration of Independence). This engrossed copy is now on display at the National Archives.
Three delegates never signed. Robert R. Livingston, a member of the original drafting committee, was present for the vote on July 2 but returned to New York before the August 2 signing. John Dickinson, a member of the Continental Congress from Pennsylvania, refused to sign. John Dickinson ( November 8 1732 – February 14 1808) was an American Lawyer and Politician from Philadelphia He was against separation from Great Britain and labored to change the language of the Declaration of Independence to leave open the possibility of a reconciliation. Thomas Lynch voted for the Declaration but could not sign it because of illness. Other notable people share this name See Thomas Lynch. Thomas Lynch (1727-1776 was an American planter and statesman from
On January 18, 1777, the Continental Congress ordered that the declaration be more widely distributed. The second printing was made by Mary Katharine Goddard. Mary Katherine Goddard ( June 16, 1738 &ndash August 12, 1816) was an early American Publisher and the first American The first printing had included only the names John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Goddard's printing was the first to list all signatories.
In 1823, printer William J. Stone was commissioned by Secretary of State John Quincy Adams to create an engraving of the document essentially identical to the original. John Quincy Adams (July 11 1767 &ndash February 23 1848 was an American diplomat and politician who served as the sixth President of the United States Stone's copy was made using a wet-ink transfer process, where the surface of the document was moistened, and some of the original ink transferred to the surface of a copper plate which was then etched so that copies could be run off the plate on a press.  Because of poor conservation of the 1776 document through the 19th century, Stone's engraving, rather than the original, has become the basis of most modern reproductions
The first German translation of the Declaration was published July 6-8, 1776, as a broadside in unfolded form by the printing press of Steiner & Cist of Philadelphia. A broadside is a large sheet of paper generally printed on one side and folded into a smaller size often used as a direct-mail piece or for door-to-door distribution 
Gustafson (2004) traces the paths taken by the original manuscript copies of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights prior to being placed permanently in the National Archives. From 1776 to 1921 the Declaration moved from one city to another and to different public buildings until placed in the Department of State library. The Constitution was never exhibited, and the Bill of Rights' provenance up to 1938 is largely unknown. From 1921 to 1952 the Declaration and the Constitution were at the Library of Congress, and the National Archives held the Bill of Rights.
In 1952, the librarian of Congress and the US archivist agreed on moving the Declaration and the Constitution to the National Archives. Since 1953 the three documents have been called the Charters of Freedom. Encased in 1951, by the early 1980s deterioration threatened the documents. In 2001, using the latest in preservation technology, conservators treated the documents and re-encased them in encasements made of titanium and aluminum, filled with inert Argon gas.  They were put on display again with the opening of the remodeled National Archives Rotunda in 2003.
The declaration is not divided into formal sections; but it is often discussed as consisting of five parts: Introduction, the Preamble, the Indictment of George III, the Denunciation of the British people, and the Conclusion. George III (George William Frederick 4 June 1738 George III's long reign was marked by a series of military conflicts involving his kingdom much of the rest of Europe and places 
Asserts as a matter of Natural Law the ability of a people to assume political independence; acknowledges that the grounds for such independence must be reasonable, and therefore explicable, and ought to be explained.
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands 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. Natural law or the law of nature ( Latin: lex naturalis) is a theory that posits the existence of a law whose content is set by Nature and that
Outlines a general philosophy of government that justifies revolution when government harms 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. In Epistemology (theory of knowledge a self-evident proposition is one that is known to be true by understanding its meaning without proof. The quotation "All men are created equal" is arguably the best-known phrase in any of America 's political documents as the idea it expresses is generally considered A creator deity is a Deity in a Creation myth responsible for the creation of the World (or Universe) "Life Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness " is one of the most famous phrases in the United States Declaration of Independence.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. " Consent of the governed " is a political theory stating that a Government 's legitimacy and Moral right to use State power In Political philosophy, the right of revolution (or right of rebellion) is a Right or Duty, variously stated throughout history of a people Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. Despotism is a Form of government by a single authority either an individual or tightly knit group, which rules with absolute political power A revolution (from the Latin revolutio, "a turnaround" is a fundamental change in power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively
A bill of particulars documenting the king's "repeated injuries and usurpations" of the Americans' rights and liberties. 
|Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. George III (George William Frederick 4 June 1738 George III's long reign was marked by a series of military conflicts involving his kingdom much of the rest of Europe and places To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world. |
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness of his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands. Naturalization is the acquisition of Citizenship or Nationality by somebody who was not a citizen or national of that country when he or she was born The Proclamation of 1763 was issued October 7, 1763 by King George III following Great Britain 's acquisition of French territory
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers. The crime of obstruction of justice includes crimes committed by Judges Prosecutors attorneys general, and elected officials in general The granting of Royal Assent is the formal method by which a constitutional monarch completes the legislative process of Lawmaking by formally assenting to an
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries. Judicial independence is the doctrine that decisions of the Judiciary should be impartial and not subject to influence from the other branches of government or from private or
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures. A standing army is an Army composed of full time career Soldiers who 'stand over' in other words who do not disband during times of peace
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power. Civilian control of the military is a doctrine in military and Political science that places ultimate responsibility for a country's
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever. Quartering Act is the name of at least two acts of the Parliament of Great Britain. The Administration of Justice Act, or Act for the Impartial Administration of Justice, also popularly called the Murdering Act or Murder Act, an Act The Boston Port Act is an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain (citation 14 Geo Extradition is the official process by which one nation or state requests and obtains from another nation or state the surrender of a suspected or convicted criminal English law is the legal system of England and Wales, and is the basis of Common law legal systems used in most Commonwealth countriesand the The Quebec Act of 1774 was an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain (citation 14 Geo The Massachusetts Government Act (citation 14 Geo III c 45 was passed by the Parliament of Great Britain and became a law on May 20, 1774.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation. A mercenary is a person who takes part in an armed conflict who is not a national or a party to the conflict and is "motivated to take part in the hostilities essentially by Perfidy is an act of deliberate Treachery or Deception. Under the 1977 Protocol I Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 ( Protocol This article is about the phrase "Dark Age(s" as a characterization of the Early Middle Ages in Western Europe
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands. Impressment (colloquially " the Press " or " press-ganging " is the act of conscripting people to serve in the military or navy usually International waterways Several international treaties have established freedom of navigation on semi-enclosed seas
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people. In modern usage a tyrant is a single ruler holding absolute power over a State or within an Organization.
This section essentially finished the case for independence. The conditions that justified revolution have been shown.  Many Americans still felt a kinship with the people of England, and had appealed in vain to the prominent among them, as well as to Parliament, to convince the King to relax his more objectionable policies toward the colonies. The Parliament of Great Britain was formed in 1707 following the ratification of the Acts of Union by both the Parliament of England and Parliament of Scotland  This section represents the Framers' disappointment that their attempts were unsuccessful.
|Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.|
The signers assert that there exist conditions under which people must change their government, that the British have produced such conditions, and by necessity the colonies must throw off political ties with the British Crown and become independent states. The conclusion contains, at its core, the Lee Resolution that had been passed on July 2. The Lee Resolution, also known as the resolution of independence, was an act of the Second Continental Congress declaring the Thirteen Colonies to Events 310 - Pope Miltiades is elected 626 - In fear of assassination Li Shimin ambushes and kills his rival
|We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. TalkCommonewalth realm.--> The monarchy And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.|
The first and most famous signature on the engrossed copy was that of John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress. John Hancock ( October 8 1793 was a Massachusetts merchant and prominent patriot of the American Revolution. Two future presidents, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, were among the signatories. Thomas Jefferson (April 13 1743 – July 4 1826 was the third President of the United States (1801–1809 the principal author of the Declaration of Independence John Adams (October 30 1735 July 4 1826 was one of the most influential Founding Fathers of the United States. Edward Rutledge (age 26), was the youngest signer, and Benjamin Franklin (age 70) was the oldest signer. Edward Rutledge (November 23 1749 January 23 1800 South Carolina statesman was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and later governor of South Carolina Benjamin Franklin ( April 17 1790 was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America. The fifty-six signers of the Declaration represented the new states as follows (from North to South):
A fictionalized (but generally historically accurate) version of how the Declaration came about is the musical play (and 1972 movie) 1776, which is usually termed a "musical comedy" but deals frankly with the political issues, especially how disagreement over the institution of slavery almost defeated the Declaration's adoption. New Hampshire ( is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. Josiah Bartlett (November 21 1729 May 19 1795 was an American Physician and Statesman who as a Delegate to the Continental Congress William Whipple Jr ( 14 Jan 1730 - 28 Nov 1785) was a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence as a Matthew Thornton (1714 &ndash June 24, 1803) was a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of New The Commonwealth of Massachusetts ( is a state located in the New England region of the northeastern United States. Samuel Adams ( – October 2 1803 was an American Statesman, Politician, Writer and political philosopher, brewer John Adams (October 30 1735 July 4 1826 was one of the most influential Founding Fathers of the United States. John Hancock ( October 8 1793 was a Massachusetts merchant and prominent patriot of the American Revolution. Robert Treat Paine (March 11 1731 &ndash May 11 1814 was a signer of the Declaration of Independence as a representative of Massachusetts. Elbridge Thomas Gerry (ˈgɛri (July 17 1744 November 23 1814 was an American statesman and diplomat Rhode Island ( officially named the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, is a state in the New England region of the United States Stephen Hopkins (March 7 1707 &ndash July 13 1785 was an American political leader from Rhode Island who signed the Declaration of Independence. Strike-through text William Ellery (December 22 1727 &ndash February 15 1820 was a signer of the United States Declaration Connecticut ( is a state located in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. Roger Sherman ( April 19, 1721 ( JC) April 30, 1721 ( GC) July 23, 1793) was an early Samuel Huntington ( January 5 1796 was an American jurist statesman and revolutionary leader from Connecticut. William Williams ( April 23, 1731 - August 2, 1811) was a Merchant, and a delegate for Connecticut to the Continental Oliver Wolcott ( December 1, 1726 December 1, 1797) was a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence New York ( is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States and is the nation's third most populous William Floyd (December 17 1734 August 4 1821 was a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of New York. Philip Livingston ( January 15, 1716 &ndash June 12, 1778) was an American merchant and statesman from New York City. Francis Lewis ( March 21, 1713 &ndash December 30, 1803) was a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence Lewis Morris ( April 8, 1726 &ndash January 22, 1798) was an American landowner and developer from Morrisania New York. New Jersey ( is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States. Richard Stockton ( October 1, 1730 &ndash February 28, 1781) was an American lawyer jurist legislator and a signer of the Declaration John Witherspoon ( February 15, 1723 &ndash November 15, 1794) was a signatory of the United States Declaration of Independence Francis Hopkinson (September 21 1737 May 9 1791 an American author was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence as a delegate from New John Hart (c 1713 &ndash May 11 1779 was a Delegate from New Jersey to the Continental Congress and a signer of the United States Declaration Abraham Clark (February 15 1725 &ndash September 15 1794 was an American politician and Revolutionary War figure The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania ( often colloquially referred to as PA (its abbreviation by natives and Northeasterners is a state located in the Northeastern Robert Morris Jr (ˈmɒrɨs ( January 20, 1734 – May 9, 1806) was an American merchant and a signer to the United States Benjamin Rush ( December 24 1745 &ndash April 19 1813) was a Founding Father of the United States. Benjamin Franklin ( April 17 1790 was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America. John Morton (1725 – April 1 1777) was a farmer surveyor and jurist from the Province of Pennsylvania. For other men with the same name see George Clymer. George Clymer (March 16 1739 – January 23 1813 was an American politician James Smith ( September 17 1719 &ndash July 11 1806) was a signer to the United States Declaration of Independence as George Taylor (c 1716 &ndash February 23, 1781) was a Colonial Ironmaster and a signer of the United States Declaration James Wilson ( September 14, 1742 August 21, 1798) was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, twice elected to the Continental George Ross ( May 10, 1730 – July 14, 1779) was a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative Delaware ( is a state located on the Atlantic Coast in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. George Read ( September 18 1733 September 21 1798) was an American Lawyer and Politician from New Castle Caesar Rodney ( October 7 1728 &ndash June 26 1784) was an American Lawyer and Politician from Thomas McKean (March 19 1734 June 24 1817 was an American Lawyer and Politician from New Castle, Delaware, and Philadelphia This article is about the signer of the Declaration of Independence William Paca ( October 31, 1740 October 13, 1799) was a signatory to the United States Declaration of Independence Thomas Stone (1743 &ndash October 5 1787) was an American planter who signed the United States Declaration of Independence as a delegate Charles Carroll of Carrollton (September 19 1737 &ndash November 14 1832 was a delegate to the Continental Congress and later United States The Commonwealth of Virginia ( is an American state George Wythe (1726 &ndash June 8, 1806) was a lawyer a judge a prominent law professor and "Virginia's foremost classical scholar Richard Henry Lee (January 20 1732 June 19 1794 was an American statesman from Virginia best known for proposing the motion in the Second Continental Thomas Jefferson (April 13 1743 – July 4 1826 was the third President of the United States (1801–1809 the principal author of the Declaration of Independence Benjamin Harrison V (April 5 1726 April 24 1791 was an American planter and revolutionary leader from Charles City County Virginia. Thomas Nelson Jr ( December 26, 1738 &ndash January 4, 1789) was an American planter soldier and statesman from Yorktown Hon Francis Lightfoot Lee ( October 14, 1734 &ndash January 11, 1797) was a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence Carter Braxton (September 16 1736 &ndash October 10 1797 was a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence and a representative of Virginia North Carolina ( is a state located on the Atlantic Seaboard in the southeastern United States William Hooper (June 17 1742 &ndash October 14 1790 was an American lawyer politician and a member of the Continental Congress representing North Carolina Joseph Hewes (January 23 1730 November 10 1779 was a native of Princeton New Jersey, where he was born in 1730 John Penn (May 17 1741 September 14 1788 was a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of North Carolina South Carolina ( is a state in the southern region ( Deep South) of the United States of America. Edward Rutledge (November 23 1749 January 23 1800 South Carolina statesman was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and later governor of South Carolina Thomas Heyward Jr (July 28 1746 &ndash March 6 1809 was a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence and of the Articles of Confederation Thomas Lynch Jr ( August 5, 1749 – 1779 was a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of This article concerns Arthur Middleton of the US Revolutionary War era The State of Georgia ( is a state in the United States and was one of the original Thirteen Colonies that revolted against British rule Button Gwinnett (baptized April 10 1735 – May 19 1777 was second of the signatories (first signature on the left on the United States Declaration of Independence Lyman Hall (April 12 1724 October 19 1790 was a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of Georgia. George Walton (1749 or 1750&ndash February 2, 1804) signed the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of Georgia 1776 is a Broadway musical with music and lyrics by Sherman Edwards and a book by Peter Stone. 
The debate over and adoption of the Declaration was also dramatized in the 2008 HBO television miniseries John Adams. John Adams is an Emmy Award -winning 2008 American Television Miniseries directed by Tom Hooper. 
The Declaration of Independence featured heavily in the 2004 film National Treasure. National Treasure is the first movie in the National Treasure franchise and is a 2004 Adventure film from Walt Disney Pictures written In the film, Ben Gates (Nicolas Cage) seeks a mythical treasure. Nicolas Cage (born Nicholas Kim Coppola; January 7, 1964) is an Academy Award -winning American actor Using the Declaration of Independence, Ben finds clues to the whereabouts of the treasure.