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.
But, by the God that made me, I will cease to exist before I yield to a connection on such terms as the British Parliament propose; and in this, I think I speak the sentiments of America.
Relations had been deteriorating between the colonies and the mother country since Parliament enacted a series of measures to increase revenue from the colonies, such as the Stamp Act of and the Townshend Acts of Parliament believed that these acts were a legitimate means of having the colonies pay their fair share of the costs to keep them in the British Empire.
The colonies were not directly represented in Parliament, and colonists argued that Parliament had no right to levy taxes upon them. This tax dispute was part of a larger divergence between British and American interpretations of the British Constitution and the extent of Parliament's authority in the colonies.
Many colonists saw the Coercive Acts as a violation of the British Constitution and thus a threat to the liberties of all of British Americaso the First Continental Congress convened in Philadelphia in September to coordinate a response.
Congress organized a boycott of British goods and petitioned the king for repeal of the acts. These measures were unsuccessful because King George and the ministry of Prime Minister Lord North were determined to enforce parliamentary supremacy in America.
As the king wrote to North in November"blows must decide whether they are to be subject to this country or independent". They were disappointed in late when the king rejected Congress's second petitionissued a Proclamation of Rebellionand announced before Parliament on October 26 that he was considering "friendly offers of foreign assistance" to suppress the rebellion.
Paine connected independence with Protestant beliefs as a means to present a distinctly American political identity, thereby stimulating public debate on a topic that few had previously dared to openly discuss,  and public support for separation from Great Britain steadily increased after its publication.
In Februarycolonists learned of Parliament's passage of the Prohibitory Actwhich established a blockade of American ports and declared American ships to be enemy vessels. John Adamsa strong supporter of independence, believed that Parliament had effectively declared American independence before Congress had been able to.
Delegates had been elected to Congress by 13 different governments, which included extralegal conventions, ad hoc committees, and elected assemblies, and they were bound by the instructions given to them.
Regardless of their personal opinions, delegates could not vote to declare independence unless their instructions permitted such an action.
For Congress to declare independence, a majority of delegations would need authorization to vote for it, and at least one colonial government would need to specifically instruct its delegation to propose a declaration of independence in Congress.
Between April and Julya "complex political war"  was waged to bring this about. Historian Pauline Maier identifies more than ninety such declarations that were issued throughout the Thirteen Colonies from April to July Some were formal written instructions for Congressional delegations, such as the Halifax Resolves of April 12, with which North Carolina became the first colony to explicitly authorize its delegates to vote for independence.
John Adams wrote the preamble, which stated that because King George had rejected reconciliation and was hiring foreign mercenaries to use against the colonies, "it is necessary that the exercise of every kind of authority under the said crown should be totally suppressed".
Lee Resolution On the same day that Congress passed Adams's radical preamble, the Virginia Convention set the stage for a formal Congressional declaration of independence.
On May 15, the Convention instructed Virginia's congressional delegation "to propose to that respectable body to declare the United Colonies free and independent States, absolved from all allegiance to, or dependence upon, the Crown or Parliament of Great Britain".
The part of the resolution relating to declaring independence read: Resolved, that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.The Declaration of Independence July 4, View Larger.
In Congress, July 4, The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the. 4 BEING AN AMERICAN ©THE BILL OF RIGHTS INSTITUTE HANDOUT A THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE IN CONGRESS, July 4, The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for.
The Truest Copy of the Declaration of Independence. In June , Tom Lingenfelter, a dealer in rare historical documents and artifacts in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, found the truest copy of the handwritten Declaration of Independence at a flea market.
This extraordinary discovery was able to tell a more complete story of how this priceless document came to be. "The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle.
The Declaration of Independence was created in an atmosphere of complaints about the treatment of the colonies under British rule. In this unit, students will be given the opportunity to compose a document based on their own complaints; however, the resulting "declarations" might be more convincing if based on some models already proven effective.
Texas Declaration of Independence. The Texas Declaration of Independence from Mexico dated March 2, at the Town of Washington. Copies of original document with transcriptions.