Declaration of Independence

Declaration of Independence

This week we travel back in American history to the time of thirteen colonies struggling to free themselves from the rule of the British monarch. The story of the creation of the Declaration of Independence is a dramatic one, and I’ve found some excellent sites that tell the tale. [Editor’s Note: An updated version of this topic can be found here: Declaration of Independence]

Declaration of Independence Resource Handout for Classroom or Homeschool: Just $2.00

America's Freedom Documents5 stars

In July of 1776, bells rang out over Philadelphia signaling the approval of Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress. Two hundred and twenty-five years later you can view the original document on your computer. Also available are the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Best clicks are the six mini-movies on topics such as The Real Face of George Washington and Paul Revere, Messenger of the Revolution. Look for the small link titled Movies at the bottom of any page.

Declaring Independence: Drafting the Documents5 stars

In June of 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the first draft of the Declaration of Independence in congressionally imposed secrecy. In anticipation of a vote for independence, the Continental Congress appointed a committee to compose a document declaring the colonies' independence from Britain. That committee then delegated the task to Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson's first draft of the Declaration can be viewed online at this Library of Congress exhibit. Also on display are fragments of a "Dunlap Broadside," one of twenty-four surviving copies of the first printing of the Declaration of Independence, done by John Dunlap in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776.

NARA: Charters of Freedom5 stars

The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, and the Bill of Rights are the focus of this site from the U.S. National Archives & Records Administration (NARA.) The exhibit is designed to be visited sequentially, following a path from the Making of the Charters, three chapters on the documents themselves, and concluding with the Impact of the Charters.

Today in History: July 44 stars

From the Library of Congress, Today in History covers events from American history with extensive links into their American Memory collection for more depth. On July 4th in American history: the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence in 1776; the New York World's Fair had a fireworks exhibition in 1939 and 1940; and Greased Pig Races were held in Vale, Oregon in 1941. You can search for other dates (such as your birthday) at the Archive link at the very bottom of the page.

To Form a More Perfect Union5 stars

Assembling representatives from each of the thirteen colonies, the Continental Congress began its efforts to resist the British in 1774. With the outbreak of war, this Congress became the central governing body. The Articles of Confederation (written in 1781) were America's first attempt to govern itself, loosely uniting the states as a confederation. The Constitutional Convention of 1787 was called to revise the ailing Articles of Confederation. The Convention soon abandoned the Articles, however, drafting instead a new Constitution with a much stronger national government. This exhibit tells the story of the birth of this nation.

Declaration of Independence Resource Handout for Classroom or Homeschool: Just $2.00

Honorable Mentions

The following links are either new discoveries or sites that didn't make it into my newspaper column because of space constraints. Enjoy!

Colonial Hall: Biographies of America's Founders

Independence Day on the Net

Liberty! The American Revolution

Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "Declaration of Independence." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 30 Jun. 2004. Web. 21 Apr. 2015. < >.

About This Page

By . Originally published June 30, 2004. Last modified June 30, 2004.

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