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The Declaration of Independence is regarded as the United States of America’s most important document. This document, which was drafted in 1776 by Thomas Jefferson, is hailed as a symbol of liberty and it marked the birth of the United States of America.
The ideals expressed in this document continue to be upheld by the American society to date. Considering the great significance of the Declaration of Independence, this paper will set out to highlight the reasons why the Declaration of Independence was written.
Reason for Writing the Declaration
The Declaration was to serve as a notice to all the nations of the world that the American Colonies were proclaiming their independence from the British Colonists. The declaration served as a formal document expressive the reality that the colonies were announcing their independence (Vile 208). The thirteen colonies that endorsed this document wanted to be recognized as a state by the international community.
The Declaration affirmed the right of the Americans organized into thirteen states to enter the international arena on a footing equal to other, similar state (Armitage 64).
The Declaration of Independence was written to act as an explanation to the international community the reasons why the colonies were declaring their independence from England. A declaration of independence was bound to elicit an aggressive reaction from Great Britain, which was keen to maintain its hold on America. Other European countries ruled by monarchies might also have opposed the move towards independence by the colonies.
The colonies therefore needed to explain their cause of action to other nations from whom they sought support. Armitage confirms this by noting that in its early decades, the Declaration inspired more attention and commentary outside the US than it did at home (63). The Declaration was explained that the American Revolution would not transgress European statecraft of incite rebellion or revolution elsewhere in the world.
The Declaration was meant to act as a justification for the decision by the colonies to break away from Great Britain. Armitage states that the Declaration of Independence was written following ignorance by the King of England of the complaints raised by colonists in America (63). The document elaborated on how Britain had failed to fulfill her roles as the ruler.
The Declaration articulated how Great Britain had lost her right to govern over the colonies and should therefore grant them independence. By providing a well-written list of the grievances that the colonies had against England, the document was able to justify to the rest of the world the reasons why the colonies were breaking free from Great Britain.
At the time when the second Continental Congress was convening, not all delegates and Americans supported the move to sever ties with Britain and achieve independence.
The document aimed to appeal to these doubters and demonstrate to them the importance of uniting against Great Britain. Vile documents that after this declaration, colonies that were accustomed to dealing with the Crown recognized that there was security in union (11).
Once the declaration had been written and printed out, it was distributed to the colonies and read in public to the citizens of the colonies. The document therefore helped to gather support for the quest for independence from regular citizens and delegates from all states.
This paper set out to highlight the reasons why the Declaration of Independence was written. It has confirmed that this document acted as a formal station of the intent of the colonies to sever ties with their motherland Britain and enlist the support of American citizens and foreign nations. The document was able to achieve its goals and as a result, the independence of the great nation of the USA was guaranteed.
Armitage, David. The Declaration of Independence: A Global History. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2007. Print.
Vile, John. The Constitutional Convention of 1787: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of America’s Founding. NY: ABC-CLIO, 2005. Print.