Tap to Read ➤

Summary of the Declaration of Independence

Vaishali Satwase Feb 12, 2020
The Declaration of Independence on 4th July 1776 formed a major part in the history of United States. It depicted the freedom of America from the clutches of Great Britain in 1789.
Thomas Paine's 'Common Sense' was the first uncommon revolutionary pamphlet written in 1776 which mentioned 'Independence is a natural right'. It carved its roots in American history to be a democratic country which fought for the natural rights - Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
"All Men Are Created Equal" - Thomas Jefferson

When you think it's a necessity to separate and lead your own country by the right fundamentals; this is where you take a call for freedom!
It is the basic principle behind the declaration of independence that made people of 13 colonies (called British Colonies) to change their dominating government from the hands of King George III to an independent state.
The United States of America was known as British America before its independence. The group of 13 colonies were ruled by Great Britain for more than 150 years (early 17th century). The Declaration of Independence written by Thomas Jefferson is a well-known book collaborated with Continental Congress declaring freedom as a legitimate nation on 2nd July 1776.
This proclamation created a revolutionary movement in world history and an inspiration to other nations struggling for their fundamental rights. John Locke, an English philosopher who bestowed upon the world, the idea of natural rights was the main influence for Jefferson to incarnate America a state of democracy.
Declaration of Independence was signed by 56 men. But the actual Continental Congress' final approval happened at the Pennsylvania State House on July 4th 1776. That's why 4th July is celebrated as independence day in the United States.

The Declaration of Independence (1776)

Declaration of Independence has a Preamble that explains the reasons of self-government against British rules, reservation to conduct trade, foreign alliances and necessary rights to raise war.
When the present government is unable to grant basic rights and involvement of their people in the administration, it is essential to change the autocratic system. Here we find non-violence petition placed for basic human rights of the people living in colonies.
It is the philosophical theory in politics that the people can cut across the so-called government with certain truths mainly three civil rights, such as rights of - i) Life, ii) Liberty, and iii) The pursuit of happiness.
The declaration of Independence urges people living in the colonies to throw out the tyrannical government in the hands of injustice king, George III. The summary was composed for more than 14 months and gave out a unique concept "All Men Are Created Equal".
The name 'The United States of America' has been in use after the Declaration of Independence. Though it is the world's shortest written constitution, it inspired all the countries all over the world who struggled for their freedom.

What Led to the Declaration?

In the 17th century, Britishers were in debt due to the French and Indian War (1754-1763) that was fought between France and Britain. Therefore they started imposing taxes on their ruling countries to get more money and power.
The British Colonies were also one of them to be ruled and abused by Britishers. Few of the torturous acts were Sugar Act and Currency Act in 1764. Later on, the Stamp Act passed in 1765 was the first direct tax on the colonists.
Quartering Act in 1765 was about helping out British Soldiers for food and shelter. Whereas other acts like Townshend Acts in 1767 and Tea Act 1773 etc., were about giving monopoly to Britain in trade and market.
North America was the sensitive region that fought seven-year war, which ended in 1763 with the removal of French authority. Most of the colonies tried to negotiate culture, heritage and appealed to the British Parliament without any result.
The activities of Stamp Act Congress were in progress in 1763 to 1776 that claimed for equal rights similar to the Englishmen. The first Continental Congress in 1774 clarified the irrelevancy of heavy taxes.
In the next year Congress requested King George III to stop war between Minutemen and British troops that in contrast set extended 20,000 troops to the thirteen colonies.

Samuel Adams formed Committees of Correspondence (1772) to raise an unanimous voice against Britain and also kept updating the happenings in both countries.
Use of military power in the Battle of Yorktown in 1781 united with France proved to be the last war resulting independence than reconciliation. Battle of Lexington, Concord (April 19th in the year 1775) and Aftermath were the major steps in the declaration of independence.

Colonies Grouped Into Present Day United States

British ruled the group of 13 British Colonies:Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island and Connecticut, The Province of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Dominion of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.
Today these thirteen colonies are known as separate states in the United States, divided into following three groups

New England: Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine (Massachusetts before), Rhode Island and Connecticut.
Middle Colonies: The Province of New York (later divide into New York and Jersey), New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.

Southern Colonies: Maryland, Dominion of Virginia (now known separately as Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia), North and South Carolina and Georgia.
Before wrapping up the summary of declaration of Independence, it's noteworthy that the history of United States focuses on why it is necessary for every being to be called an independent individual, and the freedom to be judged equally without any racial, religious, and cultural discrimination.
When God created all human beings as equal, why to differentiate them evenly!