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The Declaration of Independence In the summer of 1776, more than a year after American colonists had begun their rebellion against Great Britain, the Second Continental Congress debated a resolution for independence.

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The Declaration of Independence In the summer of 1776, more than a year after American colonists had begun their rebellion against Great Britain, the Second Continental Congress debated a resolution for independence. A committee of five worked on the document, but it was Thomas Jefferson who prepared the initial draft and whose eloquent phrasing made it a masterpiece of political writing. The text of the declaration contains three major sections: a statement of principle, a list of grievances against King George III, and the formal announcement of independence. Listed at the bottom of the document are the names of the men who signed the Declaration. They are grouped by state and listed in alphabetical order.Their full names are provided, although some may have used abbreviations in the original document. Declaration of Independence In Congress July 4, 1776, The Unanimous Declaration of The Thirteen United States of America When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. 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. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, having its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate...

« He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances ofCruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation. He has constrained our fellow Citizen taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, orto fall themselves by their Hands. He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule ofwarfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions. In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. APrince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people. Nor have We been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantablejurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity,and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connection and correspondence.They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them,as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends. We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude ofour intentions, do, in the name, and by authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Rightought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the Stateof Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances,establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance onthe Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor. Connecticut: Samuel Huntington, Roger Sherman, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott Delaware: Thomas McKean, George Read, Caesar Rodney Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton Maryland: Charles Carroll, Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone Massachusetts: John Adams, Samuel Adams, Elbridge Gerry, John Hancock, Robert Treat Paine New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, Matthew Thornton, William Whipple New Jersey: Abraham Clark, John Hart, Francis Hopkinson, Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon New York: William Floyd, Francis Lewis, Philip Livingston, Lewis Morris North Carolina: Joseph Hewes, William Hooper, John Penn Pennsylvania: George Clymer, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Morris, John Morton, George Ross, Benjamin Rush, Jason Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson Rhode Island: William Ellery, Stephen Hopkins South Carolina: Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton, Edward Rutledge Virginia: Carter Braxton, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Jefferson, Francis Lightfoot Lee, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Nelson, Jr., George Wythe Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009. © 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. »

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