Effects of the Declaration of Independence

Signing_of_Declaration_of_Independence_by_Armand-Dumaresq,_c1873

Signing of the Declaration of Independence by Armand Dumaresq, 1873

The Declaration of Independence gave birth to what is known today as the United States of America. The document is symbolic of American democracy and one of the free charters of freedom. The words stated in the Declaration rallied support from colonists at home, and colonists living abroad. The effects of the Declaration of Independence today can be seen and felt within the United States of America and also among many foreign nations.

Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness

The Declaration of Independence gave birth to many other freedoms in the United States of America that may never have even been intended. One of the more immediate effects felt by the Declaration of Independence was the Emancipation of black slaves. Some say that Abraham Lincoln interpreted the Declaration in his own way and understanding. Some say he was inspired to do so. Either way, it brought about the Emancipation Proclamation which gave black slaves their freedom. Abraham Lincoln certainly took literally the statement from the Declaration, “that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”? The American dream put in a nut shell

All Men are Created Equal

The Declaration of Independence also paved the way and created equality among all men and women. Today we can see the effects of the first sentence written in the Preamble: We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal.”? Throughout history we have seen so many different changes, from freedom of slaves, to equality among men and women. Today moreso than in the past, women have been given every opportunity that men are now given and are truly equal among men.


Bill of Rights

The Declaration of Independence had a profound effect upon the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. The Declaration, it seems, may have ignited the fire under which the Bill of Rights and the Constitution were written. The Declaration is in large part a summary of what the Bill of Rights stands for. The Bill of Rights in the United States is the name by which the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution are known. While the Declaration offered independence from Britain and made general statements, the Bill of Rights offers conclusive and specific rights and laws, from freedom of speech, press and religion, to the right to keep and bear arms; the freedom of assembly; the freedom to petition; prohibits unreasonable search and seizure; cruel and unusual punishment; and compelled self-incrimination. The first ten amendments are truly and expansion on what the first fifty six signers of the Declaration had written.

Effects among foreign nations

The Declaration of Independence has also left lasting effects upon other foreign nations, including the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, and the Declaration of Independence for the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. The French Declaration is one of the fundamental documents of the French Revolution and defines a set of individual and collective rights of all of the estates as one. The First article states, “men are born and remain free and equal in rights. Social distinction may be founded only upon the general good.”? The principles in the French Declaration are still set forth today.

The Declaration of Independence has left its effects not just in the small and large details of the United States of America, but also in the details of other foreign countries.

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