A Guide to the Declaration of Independence

The American Colonies had been under British control since the country was discovered in the 1600’s. While the new world gave the colonists the opportunity to begin a new country, the British had a firm control over when went on in the colonies. The Declaration of Independence was the written document that proclaimed the colonies freedom from British rule.

In the mid 1700’s, the colonies were under British control, and all decisions that affected the colonists took place in England. The British Government was looking to tax the colonist in order to raise money to pay for the cost of maintaining the colonies. The British Government enacted several legislations such as the Stamp Act, Coercive Act and the Townsend Act, which taxed the colonists. The colonists did not feel that they should not be paying any taxes, without having a say in how the tax money was spent.

In 1774, the 13 Colonies sent representatives to the first Continental Congress. During these meetings, the delegates met and discussed ways for the Colonies to respond to the British Government. One of the ideas that was approved was the Colonies should be independent from the British. It was also agreed that the way to do this was to fight for their independence. This led to the start of the American Revolution on April 1775

With the War underway, the second Continental Congress was called together. As time went by, it became clear that the British Government was not going to back off the taxation situation, and the Colonists needed to unify in their attempt to free themselves from the British rule. In June 1776, the Congress approved the resolution to declare their independence and authorized a to be written. The Congress authorized Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Roger Sherman and Robert Livingston to draft the document.

Jefferson, with consultation from the other four delegates, began drafting the document. On June 28, 1776, the Continental Congress met to begin the job of reviewing the document for approval. Over the course of the next several days, discussions ensued over the wording of the declaration. After several revisions, the Declaration of Independence was approved on July 4, 1776 and signed by the attendees of the Congress. In all, 56 names are listed as signers of the Declaration of Independence.

After the document had been signed, copies of the declaration had been printed and was started to be distributed throughout the Colonies. The document became the unifying force that the Congress hoped that it would be.

With a clear vision of what the Colonists wanted for the country, the war for independence continued. The Americans eventually won the war and its independence. The signing of the Declaration of Independence is celebrated annually on July 4th, and is considered the date that the United States was born. The writing of the document has been hailed as one of the best written doctrines in history. The Declaration of Independence has been emulated by many other writers.