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The Declaration of Independence

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The authors of the Declaration of Independence
Thomas Jefferson (VA), John Adams (MA) & Benjamin Franklin (PA)
Which Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence?
The second Continental Congress adopted it in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776
The Declaration of Independence
It's America's Birth Certificate. A sacred document for Americans. It gives the reason the country was created and the hopes, ideas and beliefs that Americans have for their country.
Which philosopher influenced the authors of the Declaration of Independence?
John Locke
John Locke
an English Philosopher, who believed that the three purposes of Government were life, liberty and property. He believed that common people could have some degree of control over their government
The Two Treatises of Government
A book about government written by the english philosopher John Locke. The Declaration of Independence was based on these principles of government.
What are the principles of government described in the book the Two Treatises of Government
1. The people possess the rights to life, liberty, and property.

2. The government's purpose is to protect peoples rights

3. The people may replace a government that fails in this purpose.
Why was the Declaration of Independence Necessary?
The colonists wanted to break their political bonds that connected them from Britain and to declare their independence.
What is the Preamble of the Declaration of Independence?
It's the introduction. It stated the subject of independence in clear and simple terms so everyone would understand it. It described the free government that the colonists wanted.
What is the Democratic Philosophy of Government that the Declaration is based on?
All men are created equal

All men have the rights to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The government is created to protect these rights

The people can change the government if the government become destructive and does not protect the peoples rights.
What is the list of Grievances?
A list of complaints by the colonists that were outlined in the Declaration of Independence. The list was approved by the Continental Congress. The list proved that their was good reason to demand independence from England. They are directed at King George III of England.
What is the significance of the Declaration of Independence?
It was the proclamation of new ideas:

It was the end of hereditary class distinctions
"all men are created equal'
"unalienable rights"

It was the end of divine right of Kings.
Instead the Rule was by "the consent of the governed."

It was the end of colonial government-
People had the right to overthrow and to "institute new government."
self evident
Obvious. Not needing proof.
unalienable rights
rights of people that cannot be taken away
life, liberty ,and the pursuit of happiness
These are the rights given to men by God and that government protects.
consent of the governed
the permission of the people. Governments authority depends on the permission of the people.
abolish and institute a new government
if the government is destructive and no longer protects the rights of the people then the people have the right to remove it and replace it with another governing body
absolute despotism
to rules with violence and threat of punishment
injuries and usurpations
harm and the wrongful seizing by force
absolute tyranny
complete rule by one person called a dictator
"That the united colonies. . .to be free and independent states."
The colonies want to be free from all english rule and law. The colonies would rule themselves and make their own laws, declare war, trade freely, and make alliances with foreign countries.
What is the purpose of the Declaration of Independence?
It stated that the colonies wanted to be free from English control.
Did the DOI justify American Independence?
Yes. The colonists were able to put all their grievances against the tyrannical behavior of Britain in one list directed at the King of England. It explained in clear and simple words that the rights of the colonist were the same traditional rights of all British people that had be fought for and protected for centuries.
Why were the signers of the DOI courageous?
Colonists were English citizens.
Committing treason, the crime of betraying one's country, especially by attempting to overthrow the government) was punishable by death, they and their entire families could have been killed.
what does Thomas Jefferson mean when he wrote "all men created are equal mean?
Thomas Jefferson was referring to white men only. Woman and Native Indians had no rights, black people were slaves.
Why would the DOI document unite 13 separate colonies in 1776?
Because it contained the beliefs of all 13 colonies and made the statement that they would be one people -- Americans.
What are the three values or principles of the DOI that we still share today?
Liberty-freedom

Equality-all people are created equal

Justice-the government is run by the people.

These are still the basic values of our democratic political systems.