The Declaration of Independence
We all grow up learning about our government and its history, but many American’s have probably forgotten by now just what the Declaration of Independence is for, why it was enacted and why it is so vital to every American.
The Declaration of Independence is a document made up of five sections; the introduction, the preamble, the body, comprised of two parts and the conclusion. Thomas Jefferson penned the first draft, referring to it as a “fair copy.” The completed version was later edited by John Adams and Benjamin Franklin and approved by all 13 colonies and accepted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776.
After the preamble, the first section states the long list of abuses suffered by the colonies at the hands of the British government. This list was labeled the “causes” of the need for independence. The document then goes on to list how each of their concerns went unaddressed, and even ignored by King George III. Then the final section and conclusion completely dissolve the relationship between Britain and the U.S. colonies, renouncing Britain’s politics and declares the colonies self-governing.
The document grew out of a strong dissatisfaction with the colonies and their relationship with Britain. The Continental Congress made repeated attempts to resolve grievances through proper political channels, by contacting the British government. Britain ignored all their efforts, and the dissent grew. The need for a government close to home became supremely apparent, and the Continental Congress determined that they needed to be self-governed.
Deeply inspired by Richard Henry Lee’s address to the State House in Pennsylvania, on June 7, 1776, the Continental Congress decided to draft a letter of formal separation; thus which became the Declaration of Independence.
For too long they had suffered being treated like the bad cousin. The colonies were expected to uphold all the laws and expectations of the British government but without any of the rewards. When issues occurred the provinces were ignored or even punished for bringing them to the table.
All thirteen colonies supported the decision despite previously preferring a peaceful resolution and reconciliation. They had finally become fed up with the poor treatment and limited benefits.
On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress presented the declaration to the British government declaring their independence and severing their allegiance to Britain all its political entities. All thirteen colonies of the U.S. were represented with this declaration, and on that day, they became free of British rule.
Unlike most of our sacred government documents, the Declaration of Independence is not a law. It affirms the principles, which our government is based upon and all American’s deserve from life and their government.
The most profound piece and probably the most quoted is the preamble, which reads “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.”