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The Declaration of Independence | Study Guide

Thomas Jefferson

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Course Hero. "The Declaration of Independence Study Guide." December 14, 2017. Accessed November 29, 2022.


Course Hero, "The Declaration of Independence Study Guide," December 14, 2017, accessed November 29, 2022,

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Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence e hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. Sources: Encyclopaedia Britannica,,, Copyright © 2018 Course Hero, Inc. Meant to defend the legality of independence against accusations of treason, the Declaration of Independence justifies the Continental Congress’s decision to separate from the British Empire in July 1776. The declaration is primarily remembered today for its preamble that proclaims “all men are created equal.” The Rise of a New Nation MAIN IDEAS Natural Rights of Man Citizens may establish a new government when their rights are violated. Colonial Independence The 13 colonies should now be considered equal to all other world powers. Colonial Rights King George III and Parliament infringe on the colonists’ rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Thomas Jefferson Virginia representative; primary architect of the declaration Benjamin Franklin Pennsylvania representative; provided early feedback Parliament Legislative body of British government John Adams Massachusetts representative; providedinitial feedback King George III British ruler; declared colonists rebels Key Figures Common Sense In April 1776, Thomas Paine’s Common Sense was the first public call for independence. Rejection of Peace King George III ignored the colonists’ peace petition and declared the colonies to be in a “state of rebellion.” Revolutionary War The colonial and British armies had been fighting for a year before the signing of the declaration. Context A plantation owner and politician, Jefferson wrote most of the Declaration of Independence after being chosen by the Continental Congress. After the revolution, Jefferson served as secretary of state under George Washington and vice president under John Adams. He eventually became the third president of the United States. THOMAS JEFFERSON1743–1826 Author Grievances against King George III within the Declaration of Independence 27 Year the names of the signatories were finally released after being withheld for fear of British retribution 1777 Congressional delegates who abstained from signing the declaration on or near August 2, 1776, out of 58 total delegates 2 Alterations to the original draft of the declaration before its approval on July 4, 1776 86 Days Jefferson had to write the Declaration of Independence 17 Declaration ofIndependenceby the Numbers English Original Language 1776 Year Published Thomas Jefferson Author Declaration ofIndependence History Short Stories Short Story Series Religious Text Primary Source Poetry Play Novella Novel Nonfiction Essay Epic Poem Children’s Literature Primary Source

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