Declaration of Independence PDF – Overview
The Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. The document announced the separation of 13 North American British colonies from Great Britain. It was the last of a series of steps that led the colonies to final separation from Great Britain.
Declaration of Independence states three basic ideas:
- God made all men equal and gave them the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness;
- The main business of government is to protect these rights;
- If a government tries to withhold these rights, the people are free to revolt and to set up a new government.
The Declaration explained why the Thirteen Colonies at war with the Kingdom of Great Britain regarded themselves as thirteen independent sovereign states, no longer under British rule. With the Declaration, these new states took a collective first step toward forming the United States of America.
The declaration was signed by representatives from New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.
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