Declaration of Independence

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Social Studies
American History

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Declaration of Independence


The Declaration's most famous sentence 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." Even today, this inspirational language expresses a profound commitment to human equality. References:


June 7, 1776 - Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, receives Richard Henry Lee's resolution urging Congress to declare independence.June 11, 1776 - Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston appointed to a committee to draft a declaration of independence. American army retreats to Lake Champlain from Canada.June 12-27, 1776 - Jefferson, at the request of the committee, drafts a declaration, of which only a fragment exists. Jefferson's clean, or "fair" copy, the "original Rough draught," is reviewed by the committee. Both documents are in the manuscript collections of the Library of Congress.June 28, 1776 - A fair copy of the committee draft of the Declaration of Independence is read in Congress.July 1-4, 1776 - Congress debates and revises the Declaration of Independence.July 2, 1776 - Congress declares independence as the British fleet and army arrive at New York.July 4, 1776 - Congress adopts the Declaration of Independence in the morning of a bright, sunny, but cool Philadelphia day. John Dunlap prints the Declaration of Independence. These prints are now called "Dunlap Broadsides." Twenty-four copies are known to exist, two of which are in the Library of Congress. One of these was Washington's personal copy. July 5, 1776 - John Hancock, president of the Continental Congress, dispatches the first of Dunlap's broadsides of the Declaration of Independence to the legislatures of New Jersey and Delaware.

Declarationof Independence


Standard: SS4H4 The student will explain the causes, events, and results of the American Revolution.b. Explain the writing of the Declaration of Independence; include who wrote it, how it was written, why it was necessary, and how it was a response to tyranny and the abuse of power. By: Lauren A. Turpin


Just imagine being there on July 4, 1776...(stop at 6:05)

• The Declaration of Independence is one of the most important documents in the history of the United States. • This document told King George III that the colonists did not want to be a part of England any more. • The Declaration of Independence represented the official first step toward the separation of the 13 colonies from the control of Great Britain. • It stated that the colonists had the right to 3 major things: Life, Liberty (freedom), and the Pursuit of Happiness. The document was written by Thomas Jefferson, in the seventeen days, during the Second Continental Congress. After Benjamin Franklin and John Adams reviewed Jefferson's draft of the Declaration of Independence, the committee presented the final draft before Congress on June 28, and then Congress voted to approve the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. This is now why we celebrate July 4th as America's Independence Day! • By declaring themselves an independent nation, the American colonists were able to conclude an official alliance with the government of France and obtain French assistance in the war against Great Britain.

Delaware ..• George Read • Caesar Rodney• Thomas McKeanPennsylvania • George Clymer • Benjamin Franklin• Robert Morris • John Morton• Benjamin Rush • George Ross• James Smith • James Wilson• George TaylorMassachusetts • John Adams • Samuel Adams• John Hancock • Robert Treat Paine• Elbridge GerryNew Hampshire • Josiah Bartlett • William Whipple• Matthew Thornton Rhode Island • Stephen Hopkins • William ElleryNew York • Lewis Morris • Philip Livingston• Francis Lewis • William Floyd Georgia • Button Gwinnett • Lyman Hall• George Walton

Virginia • Richard Henry Lee • Francis Lightfoot Lee• Carter Braxton • Benjamin Harrison• Thomas Jefferson • George Wythe• Thomas Nelson, Jr. North Carolina • William Hooper • John Penn• Joseph HewesSouth Carolina • Edward Rutledge • Arthur Middleton• Thomas Lynch, Jr. • Thomas Heyward, Jr. New Jersey • Abraham Clark • John Hart• Francis Hopkinson • Richard Stockton• John Witherspoon Connecticut • Samuel Huntington • Roger Sherman• William Williams • Oliver WolcottMaryland • Charles Carroll • Samuel Chase• Thomas Stone • William Paca

Books to read for more information:Liberty Less's Tail of Independence By: Cheryl and Peter BarnesThe Declaration of Independence (True Books: American History) By: Elaine Landau


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