Declaration of Independence - A Boxego Moment in History - 4th July 1776

Jul 04, 2016

A Boxego Timeline journal entry...

The Declaration of Independence is a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies, then at war with Great Britain, regarded themselves as independent states, and no longer a part of the British Empire. Instead they formed a union that would become a new nation—the United States of America.

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 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.

Abraham Lincoln made the declaration the centerpiece of his rhetoric - as in the Gettysburg Address of 1863 - and his policies. Since then, it has become a major statement on human rights, particularly its second sentence:

“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.”

This has been called "one of the best-known sentences in the English language", containing "the most potent and consequential words in American history".

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The passage came to represent a moral standard to which the United States should strive. This view was notably promoted by Abraham Lincoln, who considered the Declaration to be the foundation of his political philosophy, and argued that the Declaration is a statement of principles through which the United States Constitution should be interpreted



Category: History