Why was the Declaration of Independence written? The Declaration of Independence was written to request independence from British rule – Britain had passed several laws limiting the freedoms of the colonists – King George III kept ignoring the colonist’s complaints The only choice now was to rebel Writers of the D. of I. included Thomas Jefferson Benjamin Franklin John Adams
What were the basic principles of the D. of I. Natural Law – Unalienable Rights "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 Founders believed that no constitution or government may violate the natural law. – The only purpose of government is to protect the people’s natural rights.
Rights of Revolution – People have certain rights, and when a government violates these rights, the people have the right to "alter or abolish" that government.
Criticisms of the D. of I. “All men are created equally” – A contradiction existed between the words in the D. of I. and the reality for Native Americans, African American and women.
Homework Summary: – D (what did you do?) – I (what did you find interesting?) – L (what did you learn?) – Q (what questions do you have or would ask?) In your textbook: – Answer questions #1 and 2 on page 112