The Declaration of Independence was written by Thomas Jefferson and adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. The document was signed by 56 men who were delegates to the Second Continental Congress. It has been called “the world’s most famous document” and has inspired millions around the globe with its philosophy of freedom.
The Declaration of Independence contains 27 paragraphs that outline some of the most important political ideas ever put into words. Here are some of them:
All men are created equal…they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…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…whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive…it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it…and to institute new Government laying 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.
The Declaration of Independence outlined the reasons why Americans felt compelled to break away from Great Britain and form an independent nation. The document explained the basis for what would become known as American democracy and set forth many principles that form the foundation of American government today.