Declaration of Independence Essay

1694 WordsJan 27, 20137 Pages
Declaration of Independence essay “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” (Wilson & Dilulio, 2006, p. A1). This sentence has been called “one of the best known sentences in the English language” and “the most potent and consequential words in American history” (Wikipedia). The Declaration of Independence has at one time been the nation’s most cherished symbol of liberty. Thomas Jefferson eloquently and accurately describes the feelings and convictions of the American people. The political theory expressed in the declaration was not new. What Jefferson did was summarize the philosophy of “self-evident” truths, and make a thorough list of grievances against the King, to justify severing colonial ties to Great Britain. It set in motion a series of events over the next ten years that ultimately led to the creation and adoption of the United States Constitution and formation of the American government we are all familiar with today. Needless to say the drafting and signing of the declaration was a significant and monumental event in our nation’s history. The declaration was adopted in 1776. By that time the United States and Great Britain had been at war for almost a year and relations between them had been deteriorating for many years. Parliament, through many different measures, had set in motion a series of tax increases that would affect the colonies. The colonies were not directly represented in parliament, and therefore many colonists believed that taxing them was out of the ethical and lawful parameters for parliament. There was also an ongoing debate about interpretations of the British Constitution, and many questioned how much authority parliament should have in the colonies. The

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