The Declaration of Independence was written in 1776. The Declaration of Independence was written because the representatives of the states in America wanted to sever their ties from Great Britain. The colonies wanted to have their own government and their own independent Union. These representatives formed the Second Continental Congress and they appointed Thomas Jefferson to be the one who took all of their plans and wrote what they would call the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration explains why the states no longer wanted to live under British rule.
Thomas Jefferson was a very talented writer and took just 3 weeks to write the Declaration of Independence. He rented a few rooms and spent all of his time contemplating the exact wording for the document that he knew would change history. Jefferson’s words were poetic and strong and after only a few changes to the document, the Declaration of Independence was signed on the fourth of July in 1776. It took a week to sign because not all of the members of the Continental Congress could be there for the main signing.
A total of 56 men signed the Declaration of Independence. These men were educated and influential, and many of them had successful careers and lived comfortably on their earnings. The signers consisted of doctors, lawyers, writers, inventors, and many more. Two future Presidents signed the Declaration of Independence, and many of the other signers would continue to play influential roles in American politics. John Hancock was the leader of the Continental Congress and is known for his signature which is the largest one on the Declaration.
John Hancock and the other signers of the Declaration of Independence took a great risk when they put their names on that document. Because they were still under British rule, writing the Declaration was considered treason, and many of the signers were severely punished for their participation in the writing of the Declaration. Some of the signers were killed, many were robbed of all their possessions, and even the families of the signers were persecuted for generations after the Declaration of Independence was issued.
But the signers knew that the impact of the Declaration of Independence would be life-changing and so important that they were willing to face the dangers of being a part of making it. The Declaration of Independence has been called the most important of all the American historical documents. It was a proclamation that would send the country into a revolution and would establish the rights that we have today.
In the Declaration of Independence are these famous words:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…”?
The members of that Second Continental Congress had a dream of living a life free of persecution and unfair treatment. They risked all that they had to make sure that this country would be a free, safe and happy place for you and me. We all should have respect and an appreciation for the things that these men stood for. Without their sacrifice and passion for independence, we may not be able to live a life in the pursuit of happiness. Every child should know about the Declaration of Independence, not only because it was an important part of history, but because the principles and dreams written out on the Declaration of Independence are an important part of the lives that we lead now and the lives and opportunities that will be present for our children and our children’s children. The Declaration of Independence is a document that has changed America forever.