The Declaration of Independence
Free: How did the American Colonists become free?
In today’s lesson, we are going to learn about a very old handwritten document called The Declaration of Independence.
Let’s look back for a moment.
America was made up of 13 colonies that were under British rule. The colonists were angry with King George III for charging them money without giving them a voice in government and not recognizing their freedoms and liberties.
The colonists had had enough. They knew it was time to do something about this unfairness.
The British sent over troops (known as Redcoats, which can be seen above) to keep control over the colonists. However, this did not work. The colonists stood up for themselves and fought for their freedom.
A man named Thomas Paine wrote a book called Common Sense in 1776. This book united the Americans behind the idea of independence from Britain.
In the summer of 1776, a group of five men, which included Thomas Jefferson from Virginia, Benjamin Franklin from Pennsylvania, John Adams from Massachusetts, Roger Sherman from Connecticut, and Robert R. Livingston from New York, began writing a document that would explain why the colonies wanted independence and to declare America a free nation, separate from Britain’s rule.
On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress agreed upon a final version of the Declaration of Independence.
Did you know that the day the Declaration of Independence was agreed to is often referred to as America’s birthday? To celebrate, we now have a holiday known as the Fourth of July.