Facts You May Not Know About The Declaration of Independence

Facts You May Not Know About The Declaration of Independence

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We celebrate our Independence Day on July 4, but the Revolutionary War started about a year earlier when shots were fired at Lexington and Concord.

King George of Great Britain denied the citizens of the colonies the basic rights entitled to them as a settlement of the British crown. Each time these disputes were brought to light they were either ignored or punishment was rendered. The colonists put up resistance and fought against such tyranny.

On April 19, 1775, British troops marched into Lexington with the intent of destroying military supplies. Shots were fired and both the British and Militia suffered casualties. As the abuse of power continued from the seat of Britain, the leaders of the colonies met in early June of 1776 in Philadelphia to debate whether to break away from the mother country. Thomas Jefferson was elected to draw up the first draft of their document declaring the reasons for the colonies act of independence.

After much meeting, debating and redrafting, Congress met on July 1 and took up the resolution to break away from England’s rule. On July 4, twelve of the thirteen state delegations adopted the final draft of the Declaration (New York adopted it on July 9). Only John Hancock, president of the Second Continental Congress, and Charles Thomson, the Congress’s secretary, put their signatures on the document that day. It then went to a printer so copies could be distributed to other states.

On July 8, the Liberty Bell rang out in Philadelphia calling all citizen to gather and hear the reading of the Declaration. George Washington ordered that it be read to his troops in New York City on July 9. In every colony, Americans heard the words of the document and images of George III and symbols of Britain’s authority were removed.

On July 19, Congress ordered that the Declaration be written on parchment and signed by all its members. On August 2, the copy was ready and the members of Congress who were in Philadelphia that day gathered and signed the document knowing full well they were signing their own death warrants. Delegates not present signed in the following weeks.

On January 18, 1777 it was ordered that new copies be printed showing the names of all the signers. Today that original document is housed at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. You can read the entire document here.

There are 28 violations of human and governmental rights listed on the Declaration of Independence that were inflicted upon the colonists by King George. Peaceful resolution was tried and failed because of the tyranny of the monarchy. The only choice the colonists had was to become pawns of the British government without any rights or representation, or to rebel against abuse and become independent.

However, not everyone was in support of an independent nation. Many colonists remained loyal to the crown and refused to render support to the troops needed. Despite the lack of aid, finances, food and supplies, the Revolutionary army prevailed, and American independence was born.

We owe a debt of gratitude to our Founding Fathers for the sacrifices they laid down to give birth to the United States of America.

Happy Independence Day and may God bless America!

Barbara Latta About Barbara Latta

Barbara Latta’s desire is to help others find intimacy with God through a deeper understanding of the power of the Word. She writes a monthly column in her local newspaper and contributes to devotional websites and several anthologies. Her first book, God's Maps, Stories of Inspiration and Direction for Motorcycle Riders was released in March, 2018 and is available at Amazon. She serves as Chaplain for the Word Weavers Madison, Georgia chapter. Barbara posts on her blog.

Comments

  1. Thank you for such an informative post. While I knew several points, I’ve learned more about our history.

  2. Laurie Driesen says:

    Barbara, thanks for this post. I just went to Philadelphia last month and visited the room where the declaration of independence was signed. It was quite a great feeling to be there! I also saw the Liberty Bell for the first time. Anyway, it was so great to read your post – thanks for sharing!

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