The Declaration of Independence is the founding document of American history. It has been included among one of the most important documents ever to be written in the history of the United States of America. We refer to it still today as we recall the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. The following summary of the Declaration of Independence will briefly describe its content.
Although the declaration is not officially divided into sections, it is commonly referred to in five distinct parts; the Introduction, the Preamble, the Indictment of King George III, the Denunciation of the British people, and the Conclusion.
The Introduction of the Declaration of Independence refers to the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitling the people to assume any type of political independence. The introduction also acknowledges that the reason for independence must be of reasonable terms. The Declaration therefore must be concise and explained thoroughly.
The Preamble contains probably the most famous lines of the Declaration, “we hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal.”? The Preamble states that there are certain unalienable rights that government should never violate. Those rights include the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Should those rights be violated and the government fails to protect them, the people have the right to protect those rights themselves by overthrowing the government.
The Indictment begins by stating the suffering of the American colonies and the feeling of absolute constraint in forming a new system of government. The Indictment also refers to the numerous and repeated injuries that King George III placed upon the colonies and then go on to include factual information as to the many things that King George III had committed.
The King is accused of twenty seven specific abuses; interfering with colonists’ rights to self government and a fair judicial system; instituting legislation that affected colonies without their consent, increasing taxes on colonists; requirement to quarter British soldiers; right to trial by jury; preventing them from trading freely, for example. Also, the King had refused to protect the borders of the colonies thus resulting in the destruction of American life and property. These are among the twenty seven accusations the colonists made in direct relation with King George the III in the Indictment portion of the Declaration of Independence.
The Denunciation portion of the Declaration of Independence basically covers and finishes their case for separating from England in the hopes for a peaceful resolution, but with the clear understanding that war is almost inevitable. This section of the Declaration also notes the attempts that had been made to peacefully work things out as many of the Americans still felt that England was their brother and had appealed to more prominent people among the British. Still to their utter disappointment and their requests the colonies remained ignored and unsuccessful.
In conclusion, the representatives of the United States of America and the people of the colonies had seen existent conditions that required a change in government structure and policy. The conclusion states 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.”? The conclusion of the Declaration also contains the core of Lee’s Resolution that had been passed on July 2.
A summary of the Declaration of Independence will always take something away from the true words written by Thomas Jefferson, but will give you an idea of what the declaration is about.
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