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The History of U.S. Declaration of Independence Essay

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Updated: Jun 19th, 2021

On July 4, 1776, in Philadelphia, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America from Great Britain and its Crown. It happened on the 442nd day after the economic controversy between the metropolis and the colonies, which escalated into an armed conflict in Kensington that marked the beginning of the American Revolution.

While the armed conflict between the British Empire and the United States colonies had numerous significant events and historical episodes, the most important changes were made at the end of War. In January 1776, the editor of the Pennsylvania Journal, Thomas Payne, published a political pamphlet, Common Sense, in which he strongly opposed the authority of the “crowned robber” George III and argued for the inevitability of the colonies’ war against Britain, which “kept the colonies in power” (Jefferson, 2019).

In three months, the pamphlet sold 130,000 copies and spread the idea of separation from Britain. Under the role of the provisional government, on May 15, 1776, and the initiative of Massachusetts Representative John Adams, the Second Continental Congress passed a resolution (Nester, 2018). It recommended that colonies that share the intention to declare independence, publicly deny their oath of allegiance to the British, and recognize that the Congress has the power to make financial, military, and international decisions.

On June 7, 1776, Congress condemned the resolution, initiated by Virginia Representative Richard Lee, to declare the colonies’ complete independence from Britain and the formation of a new Confederate state. A committee of five delegates was formed three days later to prepare the relevant document, which included John Adams of Massachusetts, Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, Roger Sherman of Connecticut, and Robert Livingston (Abrams, 2019). The Declaration of Independence, which they prepared, was unanimously approved by 56 delegates from 12 colonies to the Second Continental Congress on July 2 (Barnett, 2019). After receiving the relevant powers, on July 19, New York’s representatives also voted in favor of the Declaration.

On July 4, 1776, The “Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America” – Virginia, Delaware, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, North and South Carolina – was signed by President of the Second Continental Congress John Hancock and Secretary Charles Thomson. On August 2, 1776, a solemn signing of her calligraphic copy was held by representatives of all thirteen former British colonies.

References

Abrams, D. E. (2019). America’s Founding Editors: Writing the Declaration of Independence.

Barnett, R. E. (2019). The Declaration of Independence and the American Theory of Government: First Come Rights, and Then Comes Government. Harv. JL & Pub. Pol’y, 42, 23.

Jefferson, T. (2019). The declaration of independence. Verso.

Nester, W. (2018). The frontier war for American independence. Frontline Studies Journal, 3(11).

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IvyPanda. 2021. "The History of U.S. Declaration of Independence." June 19, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-history-of-us-declaration-of-independence/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'The History of U.S. Declaration of Independence'. 19 June.

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