Gov: Declaration of Independence


declaration of independence
After the British won the costly French and Indian War, King George III levied taxes on goods purchased in the colonies. The colonists protested. In retaliation, Parliament harshly reduced the rights of colonists. Colonial leaders began to work together to take political action against British oppression. The first battle of the Revolutionary War occurred in 1775, and delegates at the Second Continental Congress assumed the powers of the central government. 

The committee of leaders of the Continental Congress agreed on a statement that explained the need for attempted separation from Great Britain. Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston included the ideas from philosophers such as Locke, Rousseau, and Montesquieu in the Declaration of Independence.

The Declaration of Independence announced to the world the decision of the thirteen American colonies to separate themselves from Great Britain. Its true revolutionary significance is the declaration of a basis of political legitimacy in the sovereignty of the people. The Declaration has three parts: the Preamble, a list of charges against King George III, and a conclusion. The Preamble summarizes the fundamental principles of American self-government. The list of charges against the king presents examples of the violation of those principles. The conclusion calls for duty, action, and sacrifice. On July 4, 1776, the colonies broke from British rule after signing the Declaration of Independence.

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