The Declaration of Independence

An Analysis of the Historical Background of Drafting

The Declaration of Independence

  We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

                                      —— the Declaration of Independence


    In this semester, I have the pleasure to have appreciated one of the greatest works in American literature—the Declaration of Independence. Since we have had a good understanding of this document, there should be the necessity for us to get to know some historical background information about its drafting and enforcement.

    This paper consists of three parts: Drafting of the Declaration, historical background of the Declaration of Independence and appreciation of the Declaration of Independence.

Ⅰ. Drafting of the Declaration

    On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee proposed a resolution to the Continental Congress stating that "these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States." Four days later Congress appointed a committee to draft a declaration embodying the intent of the resolution. The committee pressed on Jefferson the task of writing their report.

    On June 28 the committee submitted to Congress "A Declaration by the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress Assembled." The Congress passed Lee's original resolution on July 2, thus deciding in favor of independence, but took three days to debate and amend the committee's draft declaration before approving it.

    Written by Thomas Jefferson, the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Second Continental Congress on July 4.

    Thomas Jefferson presents in the declaration in brief compass the fundamental premises of American nationhood: "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with inalienable...