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The Declaration of Independence

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The introduction of the Declaration of Independence started right from the time battles of Lexington and Concord during the American Revolution, between Great Britain and the 13 colonies which happen to be the nucleus of the future. Americans claimed to seek only their rights within the British realm, and it was just a few of the colonist that has the intentions of separating from Great Britain.

Parliament enacted a series of measures in a bid to increase revenue from the colonies; an example is the Stamp Act of 1765 and Townshend Acts of 1767. The parliament did this on purpose so that will serve as a legitimate way of having the colonies pay their fair share of the costs to keep them in the Empire but the colonist develops a different view of the empire and holds an argumentative opinion that the Government had no right to levy taxes upon them.

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However, the orthodox British view, right from the Glorious Revolution of 1688, was that the parliament was the supreme authority throughout the realm and so, anything they did should be constitutional. The colonies, however, believed that there are some certain fundamental human rights that no government could violate, not even the parliament and this makes many of them began to question whether the parliament had any legal jurisdiction at all.

This brings up an analysis from American writers such as Thomas Jefferson, and James Wilson that the parliament was the government of Great Britain only, and the colonies, which have their individual governments, were only connected to the empire only through their loyalty to the crown.

The Americas later realized that their right could only be secured outside the British Empire because British undertook to assert its sovereignty by taking possession of large armed forces during the American Revolution. Even after the war began, many colonists still hope for reconciliation with Great Britain and professed loyalty to King George hoping he would intervene on their behalf. But the king disappointed them when he rejected the Congress’s second petition and announced before the parliament that friendly offers of foreign assistance should be rhetorically considered to suppress the rebellion. This constitutes a warning from the minority in the parliament that the government is driving the colonist towards independence.

This prompts a pamphlet which was written in English, titled ‘common sense’ by Thomas Paine who just arrived from England. In the pamphlet, he argued in favor of colonial independence and also made a persuasive case for independence which has not been considered by the America colonies. Paine stimulated public debate on a topic which many dread discussing.

The public support for independence further strengthened in 1776, even though some colonists are still hoping for reconciliation and the support for the Declaration of Independence grew more when it was ascertained that King George had hired foreign mercenaries to use against his American subjects. However, several colonies held back from endorsing independence and prohibited their delegates from taking any steps toward separation from Great Britain.

As of 1776, Congress draft a rhetorical preamble to explain the purpose of the resolution with the intention to overthrow the governments of Pennsylvania and Maryland still under proprietary governance. Adams who wrote this preamble regarded it as the American Declaration of Independence even though any formal declaration hasn’t been made. On the very day, Adam preamble was passed, the Virginia convention set the stage for a Congressional Declaration of Independence. Opponents of the resolution argued that the Declaration of Independence is not ideal and securing foreign aid should be the priority though they eventually conceded that reconciliation is unlikely with Great Britain.

Congress then decided that a committee should prepare a document announcing and explaining independence if the resolution was approved. Support for a congressional Declaration of Independence was eventually consolidated in the final weeks of June 1776.

Even while a document was being written to explain the decision, political maneuvering was setting the stage for an official Declaration of Independence. The draft was eventually written by Jefferson and was presented to the committee on June 8, 1776, with the title of the document named “Declaration of Independence by the representative of the United States of America. Though this document was later edited, unnecessary words removed, and sentence structure improved. They removed Jefferson’s assertion that Great Britain had forced slavery on the colonies in order to moderate the document and appease people in Great Britain who are in support with the Revolution.

The resolution of independence was adopted with twelve affirmative votes and one abstention, with this, the colonies had no choice than to severed political ties with Great Britain. After several days of debate, conclusions were made, and on July 4, 1776, the wording of the Declaration of Independence was approved and sent to the printer for publication.

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