Declaration of Independence

 

President George Washington

The Declaration of Independence - July 4, 1776
George Washington was the 1st American President who served in office from April 30, 1789 to March 4, 1797. One of the key events prior to his presidency was the Declaration of Independence adopted on July 4, 1776.

Definition of the Declaration of Independence
Definition: The Declaration of Independence was the proclamation made by the second American Continental Congress, that consisted of representatives of the original Thirteen Colonies in North America. The formal and full declaration was adopted July 4, 1776 and announced the separation of the colonies from Great Britain and making them into the United States of America.

Words of the Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence began with a statement of individual rights and then listed the acts of tyranny by King George III that formed the justification for seeking independence. Click the link for the full Text of the Declaration of Independence.

Reason for the Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence was a critical action taken by the British colonists. Many of the colonists loved England which they regarded as home. The colonists were proud of the strength of the British empire but their feelings rapidly changed. The British government imposed taxes on the colonists, denied them the rights of English citizens and, when they protested, declared them to be rebels, made war upon them and hired foreign soldiers to attack them. The colonists could no longer be subjects of King George III and many became determined to declare themselves to be independent. Virginia led in the movement for independence, and the chairman of the Virginia delegation moved a resolution of independence.

Declaration of Independence: Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?
Many of the delegates to the Continental Congress were instructed by several colonies to vote for independence from Great Britain. On June 7, 1776 Richard Henry Lee of Virginia offered a motion for independence. The congress appointed Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Robert R. Livingston and Roger Sherman to draft a Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson was convinced to write the draft, which was presented with few changes on June 28, 1776 and it was approved on July 4, 1776 as “The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America.”

Purpose of the Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence announced the separation of thirteen North American British colonies from Great Britain. The armed conflict that erupted in the American Revolution steadily convinced the colonists in North America that separation from Great Britain was essential.

Words of the Declaration of Independence
The words of the Declaration of Independence contain highly emotive words and phrases. Strong words such as impel, life, liberty, rights, happiness, respect, abolish, evils, suffer, injuries, justice, honor and tyranny can all be found in the Declaration of Independence. Read the words and experience the strength of feeling of the first colonists. Click the link for the full Words of the Declaration of Independence.

Signing the Declaration of Independence?
The Declaration of Independence was signed by the president of the Continental Congress, John Hancock, then it was printed and read aloud to a crowd assembled outside in in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. How many people signed the declaration of independence? The original document containing the Declaration of Independence was written in script on parchment and signed by the 56 delegates of the Second Continental Congress.

Who signed the Declaration of Independence?
A few copies of the Declaration of Independence were printed on July 5, 1776 with the signatures of John Hancock and Charles Thompson, as the president and secretary of Congress. On August 2, 1776, the Declaration was signed by the members of Congress, whose names and states are detailed below.

 

Presidential Seal

 

Names of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence
The signers of the Declaration of Independence and the states they represented were as follows:

 
Names of StatesNames of Signers
MassachusettsJohn Hancock (1737 - 1793)
Samuel Adams (1722 - 1803)
John Adams (1735 - 1826)
Robert Treat Paine (1731 - 1814)
Elbridge Gerry (1744 - 1814)

GeorgiaButton Gwinnett (1735 - 1777)
Lyman Hall (1724 - 1790)
George Walton (1741 - 1804)

North CarolinaWilliam Hooper (1742 - 1790)
Joseph Hewes (1730 - 1779)
John Penn (1740 - 1788)

South CarolinaEdward Rutledge (1749 - 1800)
Thomas Heyward, Jr (1746 - 1809)
Thomas Lynch, Jr. (1749 - 1799)
Arthur Middleton (1742 - 1787)

MarylandSamuel Chase (1741 - 1811)
William Paca (1740 - 1799)
Thomas Stone (1743 - 1787)
Charles Carroll (1737 - 1832)

VirginiaGeorge Wythe (1726 - 1806)
Richard Henry Lee (1732 - 1794)
Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826)
Benjamin Harrison (1726 - 1791)
Thomas Nelson, Jr. (1738 - 1789)
Francis Lightfoot Lee (1734 - 1797)
Carter Braxton (1736 - 1797)

PennsylvaniaRobert Morris (1734 - 1806)
Benjamin Rush (1746 - 1813)
Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790)
John Morton (1724 - 1777)
George Clymer (1739 - 1813)
James Smith (1719 - 1806)
George Taylor (1716 - 1781)
James Wilson (1742 - 1798)
George Ross (1730 - 1779)

DelawareCaesar Rodney (1728 - 1784)
George Read (1733 - 1798)
Thomas McKean (1735 - 1817)

New YorkWilliam Floyd (1734 - 1821)
Philip Livingston (1716 - 1778)
Francis Lewis (1713 - 1802)
Lewis Morris (1726 - 1798)

New JerseyRichard Stockton (1730 - 1781)
John Witherspoon (1723 - 1794)
Francis Hopkinson (1737 - 1791)
John Hart (1711 - 1779)
Abraham Clark (1726 - 1794)

New HampshireJosiah Bartlett (1729 - 1795)
William Whipple (1730 - 1785)
Matthew Thornton (1714 - 1803)

Rhode IslandStephen Hopkins (1707 - 1785)
William Ellery (1727 - 1820)

ConnecticutRoger Sherman (1721 - 1793)
Samuel Huntington (1731 - 1796)
William Williams (1731 - 1811)
Oliver Wolcott (1726 - 1797)

Names of StatesNames of Signers

Signers of the Declaration of Independence

Declaration of Independence - President George Washington Video
The article on the Declaration of Independence provides an overview of one of the major events prior to his presidential term in office. The following video will give you additional important facts and dates about the political events experienced by the 1st American President whose presidency spanned from April 30, 1789 to March 4, 1797.

 

 

 

Declaration of Independence
 

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