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Essential Question: SS4H4b; SS4CG1a

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2 Essential Question: SS4H4b; SS4CG1a
What is the Declaration of Independence?

3 Vocabulary: independence: freedom from being ruled by someone else
declaration: a statement that declares or announces an idea rights: freedoms that are protected by a government’s laws treason: the crime of fighting against one’s own government

4 Steps to Independence After the battles of 1775, the American colonies and Britain were at war. Some colonists were Patriots-they wanted independence from Britain. Some colonists remained loyal to the King-they were known as Loyalists.

5 He told them “Give me liberty or give me death”
Persuading others: Patrick Henry-gave a famous speech trying to convince colonists to stand up for independence. He told them “Give me liberty or give me death”

6 Another Patriot-Thomas Paine- wrote a pamphlet called Common Sense
which pushed for independence.

7 Common Sense Thomas Paine wrote that the King treated the colonists unfairly. He said the only way to stop this was to become independent. He said that colonists had nothing to gain and much to lose if they stayed tied to an unjust king . Common Sense helped change the minds of many colonists. The support for independence grew.

8 Declaration of Independence
Could the colonies stand up to Britain? Britain was a powerful country. Was there enough colonists that wanted independence? On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee, a Virginia delegate, asked Congress to officially declare independence from Britain.

9 Thomas Jefferson Congress asked Thomas Jefferson to write the Declaration of Independence. The declaration would tell why the colonies had to become independent from Britain.

10 Jefferson wrote about the rights of people:
“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”. the right to Life, (right to live) Liberty (the right to be free), and the Pursuit of Happiness (to seek happiness)


12 Parts of the Declaration:
Part one- promises to explain why the colonists need to break away from the rule of England Part two- explains that people have rights that cannot be taken away from them. Says that “all men are created equal” Part three- the longest section. It is a list of complaints against the king. Part four – says colonists must be free to protect their rights. Declares independence from England.

13 In the declaration: Jefferson also wrote that if a government does not protect these rights people have a right to form a new government. He said that the King had tried to take away the colonists’ rights and force taxes on the colonists.

14 July 4,1776 On July 4, 1776 the Second Continental Congress agreed to sign the Declaration of Independence Signing the declaration was dangerous. Britain would call it treason. Anyone who signed it could be hanged! This was a great moment in history because it marked the moment when the Americas chose to rule themselves. From then to now, it has inspired people to work for liberty and equal rights.

15 Essential Question: SS4H4b; SS4CG1a
What is the Declaration of Independence?

16 Review: It was written when the colonists decided to declare their independence from England. Congress asked Thomas Jefferson to write the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration states that everyone has certain rights that no one can take away. It was accepted on July 4,1776.

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