The Declaration of Independence

The Declaration of
Let’s Review!
• What is mercantilism?
• What was the impact of the French &
Indian War?
• Name two ways the Colonists “protested”
the Acts. (Think Stamp Act & Tea Act)
• What “letter” did the First Continental
Congress draft?
• What is significant about “Lexington and
• What is “Common Sense”?
Today’s Goal
Explain the origin of the Declaration of
Independence as well as summarize and
interpret this as a important founding
document in American history.
The Declaration of
• Thomas Jefferson was
the main author of the
Declaration, though he
received some help from
other notable Americans.
• The initial document was
• 86 Changes were made in 1
• Nearly 1/5 of the document
was eliminated
• Leaving 1,337 powerful
What Was at Risk?
• The Second Continental Congress
decided that the DOI was needed and
approved the document after revisions
were made.
• 56 Signers (at least one from each of the
13 colonies) were in attendance
• By signing their name to the document,
each man was committing an act of
treason against the crown.
• “We must indeed all hang together,
or most assuredly, we shall all
hang separately.”
- Benjamin Franklin
Who Were the Risktakers?
Jefferson, Franklin, Hancock, and
Adams are well known – but many of
the other men have compelling stories
as well…
Franklin was the oldest, eighteen were
under 40, three were in their 20s, half
were lawyers, 9 were landowners, 11
were merchants, the rest were
doctors, ministers, & politicians…
What Did They Have to Lose?
But Above All Else…
• These 56 signers risked the
Their lives, their fortunes, and
their sacred honor
The Signers of the
• The signers, as representatives of
the American people, declared
American Independence from
Great Britain on July 4, 1776!!!!
• (Most members actually signed on
August 2 though)
• Was this treasonous? Why or Why
Food for Thought…
Why are these statements significant?
• “My hand trembles,
but my heart does
- Stephen Hopkins
• “I am no longer a
Virginian, Sir, but
an American.”
- Patrick Henry
Why is this Significant?
The Title says…
The unanimous Declaration of the united
States of America
Declaration of
• There are four major
components of the DOI:
• Introduction
• Rights of the People (Natural
• Complaints of the Colonists
• Declaration of a new Nation – the
united States
Parts of the Declaration
• The Colonists were tired of the
how they were being treated by
the British – they were IRCD
• I – introduction
• R – rights of the people
• C – complaints against the king
• D – declaration of a new nation
• Explains why the Continental
Congress drew up the Declaration
• “When in the Course of Human events, it
becomes necessary for one people to
dissolve the political bands which have
connected them with another…………….
a decent respect to the opinions of
mankind requires that they should
declare the causes which impel them to
the separation…”
• The second part of the Declaration lists the natural rights of
the citizens.
• It explains that in a republic, people form a government to
protect their rights. LET’S ANALYZE THIS!
hold these truths to be self-evident (clearly true), that
all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their
Creator with certain unalienable (inalienable) rights (Cannot
be taken away), that among these are life, liberty and the
pursuit of happiness…
That to secure these rights, governments are instituted
among men deriving their just powers from the consent of
the governed! (permission of the people)…
that whenever any form of government becomes destructive
of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish
it, and to institute new government.
(Social contract = natural rights + the role of the government) According to this, what
is the relationship between natural rights and the role of the government?
• Lists the colonists grievances against
the British government
• Who is singled out?
• He refused assent to laws (laws written by the Colonies)
• He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies
without Consent of our legislature (quartering soldiers)
• He…has imposed taxes on us without our consent
• He has taken away our right to a trial by jury
• He has limited our judicial powers
• He has dissolved our legislatures
Overall the colonists were oppressed (unjust treatment) by
the tyranny of the King.
What is the connection between these grievances and
natural rights?
Declaration of a New
• The final section declares that the
colonies are “13 Free and
Independent States”.
• What is significant about that
• The states now had the power to
wage war, to form alliances and to
trade with other nations.
How Do You Feel?
• Now that we’ve discussed the
How confident do you feel about
your understanding of IRCD?
SHR: Fireworks
Now it’s Your Turn!
• Acting as a modern day “Thomas
Jefferson” – you now have a
chance to rewrite the Declaration
of Independence.
• Let’s take a look at the project
• Due on Wednesday, September 30!