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Declaring Independence

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1 Declaring Independence
Chapter 4, Section 2 Declaring Independence

2 Paine’s Common Sense Common Sense
47-page pamphlet that was distributed in Philadelphia in January of 1776 Published anonymously (without the author’s name) Written by Thomas Paine Argued that citizens, not monarchs (kings and queens) should make laws This was a bold statement at a time when monarchs ruled much of the world

3 Paine’s Common Sense Recent immigrant from England
Argued a strong case for American independence Ridiculed the idea that monarchs ruled by “the will of God” Disagreed with economic arguments for remaining with Britain

4 Paine’s Common Sense News of Common Sense spread through the colonies and 500,000 copies of the work were sold (equivalent to a “best seller” today) Thomas Paine reached a wide audience by writing as a common person speaking to common people Made a strong case for economic independence from Great Britain and the right to military self-defense Cried out against tyranny (abuse of government power)

5 Independence is Declared
June, 1776: The Second Continental Congress formed a committee to write a document declaring the colonies’ independence from Great Britain Also created a seal for the new country with the Latin motto “E pluribus unum” (“out of many, one”) Motto recognized the union of the new states

6 A New Philosophy for Government
Declaration of Independence Formally announced the colonies’ break from Great Britain Thomas Jefferson was the main author Assisted by Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Robert Livingston, and Roger Sherman Made up the “Committee of Five” Expressed 3 main ideas All people possess certain unalienable rights: “…life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” King George III had violated the rights of the colonists by taxing them without their consent The colonies had the right to split from Great Britain Social Contract between governments and people It is the responsibility of governments to protect the rights of the people

7 A New Philosophy for Government
Jefferson was deeply conflicted while writing the Declaration Wrote of liberty and justice for all while he was a slave owner of more than 100 slaves Would become the 3rd President of the United States He and John Adams would die on the same day-July 4, 1826, exactly 50 years to the day after the Declaration of Independence was adopted Thomas Jefferson

8 A New Philosophy for Government
July 4, 1776: The Second Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence All ties with Great Britain were severed The signers were wanted men and would pay with their lives as traitors if captured The grave of William Hurry in Philadelphia, PA. He is the man who rang the bells over Philadelphia proclaiming independence on July 4, 1776.

9  The Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, PA
 The room in Carpenter’s Hall where the Declaration of Independence was adopted  Carpenter’s Hall in Philadelphia, PA today

10 Choosing Sides Loyalists Colonists who chose to side with the British
Also called “Tories” Persecution by Patriots forced many Loyalists to leave the colonies Most went to Canada Abandoned their homes and property

11 Choosing Sides War divided families
Benjamin Franklin was stark supporter of the Patriot cause His son, William, remained loyal to the king Father and Son would forever cease all communication, leaving Benjamin Franklin brokenhearted and bitter. Benjamin and William Franklin, once very close,

12 Choosing Sides Native Americans
At first, Native Americans were encouraged by both sides to remain neutral By summer of 1776, Patriots and British were both actively pursuing Native Americans to join their armies Most Native Americans sided with the British Fear of Colonists taking their land

13 Unfinished Business The Declaration of Independence excluded many groups of Americans Stated that “…all men are created equal” Failed to mention Women Enslaved African Americans Native Americans The rights of the aforementioned minorities would be subject to the rule of the majority

14 Women Even though a great many women were Patriots, the Declaration of Independence did not discuss their rights Abigail Adams, wife of Patriot John Adams, tried to persuade him to include women’s rights in the Declaration of Independence Abigail Adams, a member of the Daughters of Liberty, was a pioneer of women’s rights

15 African and Native Americans
The Declaration of Independence did not recognize the rights of enslaved Africans Why did any form of slavery exist in a land that valued personal freedom? July 1776: Slavery was legal in all 13 colonies 1780’s: New England colonies began taking steps to end slavery

16 African and Native Americans
The Declaration of Independence did not recognize the rights of Native Americans American colonists were quietly encroaching on Native American lands The tendency to ignore the rights of Native Americans would develop into a pattern after the colonists won their independence from Great Britain

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