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Declaration of Independence

On June 7 ____________ ____________ ________ of Virginia said that these ____________ ____________ are,

and of right ought to be, ____________, and ____________ states... The Continental Congress appointed a

committee of five men - Jefferson, Benjamin ____________, John ____________, Robert ____________ of New

York, and Roger ____________ of Connecticut- to develop a public explanation for colonial unhappiness and

to provide a reasonable for independence. These men asked Adams and Jefferson to produce a first draft,

but Adams asked Jefferson because of the Virginians reputation as an eloquent writer. Jefferson is often

called the ____________ of the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson used ideas from an English

philosopher named ____________ ____________

Lees resolution ____________ on July 2, and was formally ____________ on July 4, 1776, when the Congress

adopted Thomas Jeffersons Declaration of Independence. John ____________ was the first to sign and said I

wrote it large enough for King ____________ to read it without his ____________.

Jeffersons Influences

Jefferson had several writers who influenced his writing of the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson

wrote the document in about ______ days. While writing Jefferson drew primarily upon two sources: his own

draft preamble to the ____________ Constitution he had written a few weeks earlier, and George Masons

draft of Virginias ____________ of ____________. It was Masons text that influenced many of Jeffersons most

famous phrases for example, all ____________ are born ____________ ____________ and ____________, and

have certain ____________ (basic) natural Rights...among which are the Enjoyment of ____________ and

____________, with the Means of acquiring and possessing ____________, and pursuing and obtaining

Happiness and Safety.

Jefferson shared his draft with the committee members and they made several minor revisions, to the

opening paragraphs and to his listing of ____________ against King George III. They then submitted the

document to the entire Congress. The legislators turned themselves into a Committee of the ____________ to

consider the draft. They made _____ changes in Jeffersons declaration, including shortening its overall

length by one fourth. Most of the revisions dealt with the section summarizing British colonial policy over

the previous fifteen years but the Congress did see fit to insert two references to God. Jefferson regretted

many of the changes, believing his colleagues had ____________ the document. But overall the legislative

editing improved the declaration, making it more ____________, ____________, and ____________-and as a
result more powerful.

The Declaration of independence is an ____________ (powerful) restatement of John ____________ contract

theory of government-the theory, in Jeffersons words, that government's derived their ____________

Powers from the ____________ of the people, who were entitled to ____________ (change) or ____________

(get rid of) those that denied their ____________ rights to ____________, ____________ and the

____________ of ____________. The appeal was no longer simply to the rights of Englishmen but to the

broader laws of Nature and Natures God. Parliament, which had no proper authority over the colonies,

was never mentioned by name. The enemy was a ____________ who had combined with others to subject us

to a ____________ (ruler) foreign to our constitution, and ____________ (not recognized) by our laws... the

document set forth a history of repeated ____________ (abuse) and ____________ (taking over). The

Representatives of the United States of America,. therefore, declared the thirteen United Colonies to be

____________ and ____________ States.

The document was approved on July __ , 1776 and many copies of it were sent out to the newly declared

states. Washington read it to his troops on July 9. In New York American soldiers tore down a statue of

George III in celebration.