The American Revolution was forced upon the Americans by the crueltreatment from the British. On May 10 of 1775 the Second ContinentalCongress gathered in Philadelphia, one month after the fighting broke out. There, delegates from each of the 13 colonies would decide on independence. A Declaration of Independence was required to state why the 13 colonieswere separating from the British Empire. With this, POW’s could demand tobe treated as prisoners instead of traitors and aid coul d be sought fromBritain’s enemies. The Declaration of Independence consisted of thepreamble, the middle section and a section declaring independence.
Themost important part, the preamble, justifies the rights of the Americancitizens. It declar es that “men are created equaland. . . are endowed bytheir Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life,liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. ” That sentence still remains atruth with the Americans today.
Jefferson wrote the preamble with the helpof John Locke and Rousteu. Within the preamble Jefferson writes that thepeople, “to secure these rights. . . whenever any form of government becomesdestructive.
. . it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it. ” Itgives the people of America the freedom to impeach untrustworthy rulers anddictators if they wish to.
The freedom that Thomas Jefferson gave us isstill in practice today. The middle section justified why the colonistswere revolting against the Britis h Empire. Here Jefferson writes that theKing of Great Britain “is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations. “He reminds the reader that the King has refused to allow the Governors topass important laws “necessary for the public good,” obstru cted theadministration and that the king is sending over large armies to “completethe works of death.
” The third section officially declares independence inwriting. The entire effort to complete the Declaration of Independence wasdone by Thomas Jefferso n, John Adams, Ben Franklin, Roger Sherman andRobert Livingston. In order to pass the declaration all of therepresentatives had to vote yes for independence. In one of the earlierdrafts a statement roughly 175 words gave black slaves independence . Thesouth however did not agree and threatened not to pass the declaration.
Knowing that nothing would get done if it was not passed, John Adams gaveup the war to allow for that to clause remain in the declaration. Thedeclaration was officiall in effect on July 4, 1776.Bibliography: