The Declaration of Independence is the statement adopted by the Second Continental Congress meeting at the Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies, then at war with the Kingdom of Great Britain, regarded themselves as thirteen newly independent sovereign states, and no longer under British rule.
The Continental Congress, also known as the Philadelphia Congress, was a convention of delegates called together from the Thirteen Colonies which became the governing body of the United States during the American Revolution.
A sovereign state is, in international law, a nonphysical juridical entity that is represented by one centralised government that has sovereignty over a geographic area.
The Second Continental Congress was a convention of delegates from the Thirteen Colonies that started meeting in the summer of 1775, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Background and introduction to the United States ... by Khan Academy
Instead they formed a new nation—the United States of America.
The United States of America, commonly referred to as the United States or America, is a federal republic composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions.
Declaration of Independence by Mometrix Academy
John Adams was a leader in pushing for independence, which was passed on July 2 with no opposing vote cast.
John Adams was an American patriot who served as the second President of the United States and the first Vice President.
A committee of five had already drafted the formal declaration, to be ready when Congress voted on independence.
The term "Declaration of Independence" is not used in the document itself.
John Adams persuaded the committee to select Thomas Jefferson to compose the original draft of the document, which Congress would edit to produce the final version.
Thomas Jefferson was an American Founding Father who was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence and later served as the third President of the United States from 1801 to 1809.
The Declaration was ultimately a formal explanation of why Congress had voted on July 2 to declare independence from Great Britain, more than a year after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War.
The American Revolutionary War, also referred to as the American War of Independence and the Revolutionary War in the United States, was an armed conflict between Great Britain and thirteen of its North American colonies that after onset of the war declared independence as the United States of America.
The American Revolution was a political upheaval that took place between 1765 and 1783 during which colonists in the Thirteen American Colonies rejected the British monarchy and aristocracy, overthrew the authority of Great Britain, and founded the United States of America.
The next day, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail: "The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America."
But Independence Day is actually celebrated on July 4, the date that the Declaration of Independence was approved.
After ratifying the text on July 4, Congress issued the Declaration of Independence in several forms.
It was initially published as the printed Dunlap broadside that was widely distributed and read to the public.
The source copy used for this printing has been lost, and may have been a copy in Thomas Jefferson's hand.
Jefferson's original draft, complete with changes made by John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, and Jefferson's notes of changes made by Congress, are preserved at the Library of Congress.
The Library of Congress is the research library that officially serves the United States Congress and is the de facto national library of the United States.
The best known version of the Declaration, a signed copy that is popularly regarded as the official document, is displayed at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. This engrossed copy was ordered by Congress on July 19, and signed primarily on August 2.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as "Washington", "the District", or simply "D.C.", is the capital of the United States.
Western calligraphy is the art of writing and penmanship as practiced in the Western world, especially using the Latin alphabet.
The sources and interpretation of the Declaration have been the subject of much scholarly inquiry.
The Declaration justified the independence of the United States by listing colonial grievances against King George III, and by asserting certain natural and legal rights, including a right of revolution.
In political philosophy, the right of revolution is the right or duty of the people of a nation to overthrow a government that acts against their common interests and/or threatens the safety of the people without probable cause.
Natural and legal rights are two types of rights.
Having served its original purpose in announcing independence, references to the text of the Declaration were few in the following years.
Abraham Lincoln made it the centerpiece of his rhetoric, and his policies.
Abraham Lincoln was an American politician and lawyer who served as the 16th President of the United States from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865.
Since then, it has become a well-known statement on human rights, particularly its second sentence:
Human rights are moral principles or norms, which describe certain standards of human behaviour, and are regularly protected as legal rights in municipal and international law.
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.
The quotation "All men are created equal" has been called an "immortal declaration," and "perhaps [the] single phrase" of the American Revolutionary period with the greatest "continuing importance."
In epistemology, a self-evident proposition is a proposition that is known to be true by understanding its meaning without proof, and/or by ordinary human reason.