The Declaration of Independence

5830 words 24 pages
THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE (1776)
Thomas Jefferson

Context

The Declaration of Independence, completed and signed in July of 1776, marked the official separation between the 13 colonies and Great Britain. An armed struggle between the colonies and Britain had begun just over a year before, with the Battles of Lexington and Concord. The formal declaration of independence established the new American revolutionary government and officially declared war against Great Britain. The primary purpose of the declaration was to assist the Second Continental Congress in obtaining aid from foreign countries. The document also clearly outlines the history of abuses the colonists had suffered under British rule since the end of the French
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Thomas Jefferson is known as the author of the Declaration of Independence, although his draft was heavily edited by the delegates of the Second Continental Congress. Thomas Jefferson continued as an important figure in early American politics by serving as diplomat to France, Secretary of State, and as the third President of the United States.
King of Great Britain - King George III reigned over Great Britain and Ireland from 1760 to 1820. King George III was a descendent of the house of Hanover, a German royal family, but the first of his family to be born and educated as an Englishman. Unlike his predecessors, he aimed to rule strongly over British concerns abroad (such as the colonies) and did so by revoking the policy of salutary neglect that had dominated colonial policy until then. He also attempted to diminish the powers of parliament by frequently appointing new ministers to carry out his policy. This led to political chaos throughout Great Britain, and also contributed to the strict laws imposed on the colonies after 1763.
John Locke - John Locke was an English Philosopher who influenced the thoughts and actions of American leaders in the revolutionary era. The author of Two Treatises of Government (1690), Locke attacked the theory of divine right of kings, arguing that the power of the state rested on the power of the people.

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