Sunday, May 12, 2019


Image result for declaration of independence“Declaring Independence”
Hoot Gibson, 6/3/2014

The Declaration of Independence is the first time the Colonies referred to themselves officially as Free States. The newly proclaimed thirteen States had united in cause and committed to being independent from Britain. Written in the title of the Declaration is “…the thirteen united States of America.” This new designation of ‘States’ and “United States” carries forward to the title of the “Constitution of the United States” and most all other subsequent documents.

The document can be broken into six parts, though the original document appears to be one very long continuous paragraph. I recommend you read the Declaration of Independence after reviewing this article. It may give better insight to the structure and how the wording applies to later development of the US Constitution.

PART 1, Title: This section provides the date of the declaration and is a notice to the King that the decision to become independent was unanimous in Congress. It also is the first reference to “…united States of America.”

PART 2, Introduction: This portion proclaims the United States will separate from England.

PART 3, Declaration of Rights: This establishes that the United States is equal to England and explains the reasons for independence. The first sentence of this paragraph became much of the foundation and motivation for inclusions in the US Constitution.

“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.”

-life: living without the constant fear of death by other than natural means
-liberty: living without oppressive restrictions imposed by authority or tyranny
-pursuit of happiness:
--pursuit; unrestricted by authority, the ability to follow or go after…
--happiness; a sense of confidence and quality of life, not to suffer due to

PART 4, Grievances: The Founding Fathers include a long list of injustices and reasons for declaring independence from England.

PART 5, Resolution of Independence: The last two paragraphs state to the King that the United States of America will have its own powers to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances [foreign nations], establish trade, and other acts as the United States…a separation nation.

PART 6, Signatures: There were 56 signers on the Declarations of Independence. As stated in the last sentence of the Resolution portion, each signer mutually pledged “…to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

The Declaration of Independence was approved by the Second Continental Congress on July 2, but dated and declared publicly on July 4, 1776. Though Thomas Jefferson is credited with writing the document; as a committee Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Robert Livingston, and Roger Sherman were all authors of the document.

The revolution for independence had already begun. This document, in essence, declared that the now United States is no longer a part of England and war will continue. During the Second Continental Congress, Benjamin Franklin made this statement regarding unity of the States and People, “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” Benjamin Franklin was the eldest signer of the Declaration of Independence and later a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in 1787, developing the US Constitution.

The Colonies are no longer colonies; they are now the United States of America. The Colonists are no longer colonists; they are now Americans.

©Hoot Gibson, 2014 - 2019

Hoot is a retired USAF Master Sergeant. 

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