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4th of July  


Declaration of Independence
By Sarah Lane
Jul 2, 2008, 12:15 PST



The Declaration of Independence

The Declaration of Independence

 

What is the Declaration of Independence?  Not only is it a symbol of life and liberty for the American people, but it’s also a list of grievances against King George III.  It was a justification to the world that the United States was severing their connection with their mother country of England, forever! 

The 13 colonies were in a time of political unrest due to the large amount of taxes being paid to England.  You may have heard the term, ‘Taxation without Representation’ to describe this problem.  To solve this dilemma, 56 brave men who knew they would die if ever captured by the British, signed the Declaration of Independence.  This important document would hold strong for future generations to recognize and respect.

The lives of the men who signed the declaration, however, were rewarded mostly by poverty and their homes and property destroyed.  There is no substantial evidence to prove whether the events surrounding the demise of these men were due to their outright denial of the English Monarch, but there’s no evidence to prove the opposite either.  We should never forget that these men pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor for us to have freedom today. 

 

Important Dates

What dates should you remember when thinking about the Declaration of Independence? 

·      It was drafted from June 11th until June 28th, 1776. 

·      It was signed on July 4th, 1776 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

·      The first newspaper to print the Declaration was the Pennsylvania Evening Post on July 6th, 1776.

·      The first public reading was at Philadelphia’s Independence Square on July 8th, 1776. (It was actually read twice that day.)

·      The signing of the document was officially complete in August of 1776. 

·      The first official anniversary celebration of America’s Independence was on July 4th, 1777.  

What does this mean to us today?  From Thomas Jefferson’s first draft to the final copy, this summarization of our country’s ideals and philosophy remains a constant in our society today.  We still hold these truths to be self-evident and the preservation of our country depends on this fact!

 

Additional Learning Links for The Declaration of Independence

 

National Archives and Records 

Take a look at the complete transcription of the Declaration of Independence while learning its historical background.  There are several links for additional information. 

Source:              National Archives & Records Administration

Reading Level:   Moderate

 

Declaration Query

Not only can you find legislative information but many historical documents as well.  Search or browse, but make sure you learn all about our country’s road to declaring freedom.

Source:              American Memory

Reading Level:   Hard

 

Drafting the Documents

This is a special exhibition from the collection titled “Treasures of the Library of Congress.”  Meet the Declaration Committee or read a chronology of events surrounding the creation of our country’s most important document.  Also see pictures of the objects in the exhibition.

Source:              Library of Congress

Reading Level:   Moderate

 

U.S. History

A U.S. History site devoted to bringing resources to students for research papers has formed this collection of important information.  Read ‘Thomas Jefferson’s Account of the Declaration’ or profiles of every delegate who signed the document.  Learn about the Graff House where Jefferson actually wrote the Declaration.

Source:              U.S. History.org

Reading Level:   Moderate







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