History and Facts about the Declaration of Independence

The Declaration of Independence is a key document in United State history. The document was sanctioned on July 4, 1776, which says that the people of America were no longer abide the British rule. Instead, all 13 colonies came together and collaborated to become a new country.

Before the Declaration

Before 1776, the U.S was not a country. In fact, the British Empire established individual states, which were known as English colonies. This means that the British Parliament ruled these American colonies.


People living in the American colonies did not want the British to rule them. They were angry at the British Parliament. Their anger turned into frustration and desperation. As a result, they stopped paying taxes to the British Empire. They wanted their own representatives in the British Parliament.

The Declaration of Independence

However, Great Britain was not ready to accept this demand. Besides, the American people wanted the British to treat them like first-rate citizens. When Britain was not treating them like citizens, they no longer felt faithful and loyal to the British Empire.

Taking Action

Different American colonies came together and formed a Continental Congress in response to actions taken by the British Empire, which also include the Intolerable Acts. The Continental Congress was formed to make decisions for all of the American colonies.

The representative of each colony met in Philadelphia city. On June 11, 1776, during a meeting, the Continental Congress chose 5 people to write a document that later became the “Declaration of Independence.” These people were:



Benjamin Franklin

Province of Pennsylvania

Robert R. Livingston

Province of New York

Thomas Jefferson

Virginia Colony

John Adams

Massachusetts Bay Colony

Roger Sherman

Connecticut Colony

What Does the Declaration of Independence Say?

Most of the writing was done by Thomas Jefferson. In the Declaration, he starts by inscribing about the rights of people and the responsibilities of the government to give them religious, social, and economic rights. This is an important part of the declaration, known as Preamble.

Thomas, then, lists a few delinquencies that Great Britain did to the American colonies, which include putting people in jail without any reason, raising taxes, and disrespecting the citizens of colonies. So, the colonies have all the right to be free and independent states.

Agreeing On Declaration

The Continental Congress made some changes to the Declaration on July 2, 1776. They approved the declaration after making changes to it. All members who signed the document declared their independence from Great Britain. This was declared on July 2, 1776, at the Pennsylvania State House.

Keep in mind that the Congress had not approved the declaration officially until July 4, 1776. On that day, 12 of the 13 colonies approved and ordered the printing of the declaration document. The Province of New York refrained from voting.

John Hancock who was the president of the congress signed this version of the declaration. A few days later, on July 15, the Province of New York agreed with the other 12 colonies. Overall, 56 representatives of different American colonies signed the declaration.

Author: George Morris
A true American that was born in Bend, Oregon with family roots that cover our great Nation. Proud to be an American and live in the land of the free and the home of the brave!