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The Declaration of Independence

The Declaration of Independence

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Published by Cheryl Horath
From The National Archives, for Information ONLY
From The National Archives, for Information ONLY

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Cheryl Horath on Mar 09, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Drafted by Thomas Jefferson between June 11and June 28, 1776, the Declaration of Independence is at once the nation's mostcherished symbol of liberty and Jefferson'smost enduring monument. Here, in exaltedand unforgettable phrases, Jefferson expressedthe convictions in the minds and hearts of theAmerican people. The political philosophy of the Declaration was not new; its ideals of individual liberty had already been expressed by John Locke and the Continental philosophers. What Jefferson did was tosummarize this philosophy in "self-evidenttruths" and set forth a list of grievances againstthe King in order to justify before the worldthe breaking of ties between the colonies andthe mother country. We invite you to read atranscription of the complete text of the
Declaration.The article "
," provides a
detailed account of the Declaration, from its
The above image of the Declarationis taken from the engraving made by printer William J. Stone in 1823 and is the mostfrequently reproduced version of thedocument. The original Declaration(pictured below), now exhibited in theRotunda for the Charters of Freedom in
drafting through its preservation today at the National Archives."
"by Stephen Lucas. By
closely examining its language, this perceptive article sheds light on theDeclaration as a work of literature and of  persuasion. From Prologue, Spring 1990.The 
strongly influenced Thomas Jefferson inwriting the first part of the Declaration of Independence. It later provided thefoundation for the Bill of Rights.Learn about 
, interesting and informative facts about theDeclaration and its history.Learn more about the Writing and
United States  by visiting the Independence National Historical Park (Philadelphia,Pennsylvania) web site.View documents from the ContinentalCongress and the Constitutional
Convention,part of the Library of Congress'American Memory web site. This site also provides related manuscript, printed, andiconographic materials.Washington, DC, has faded badly
largely because of poor preservation techniquesduring the 19th century. Today, this priceless document is maintained under themost exacting archival conditions possible.

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