Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence was written by Thomas Jefferson to the King of England. Before 1776, the American colonies were ruled by England. It was signed on July 4, 1776, declaring the United States to be an independent nation. The Declaration of Independence said that the colonies wanted to be free from England and that they wanted to form their own country. It said that all people have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is the government's job to protect these rights.
The original Declaration of Independence is on display at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC. Americans celebrate the signing of this important document every year on Independence Day, the Fourth of July.
Here are a few lines from the Declaration of Independence:
"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. That to secure these rights, governments are instututed by man, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."
To read the Declaration of Independence click here. Signers of the Declaration of Independence. Chronology of Events