The American Declaration of Independence
The United States Declaration of Independence was passed by the Continental Congress in 1776; it stated that 13 American colonies, which were fighting with Great Britain at that time, were going to become independent states. This declaration was issued in different forms. First, it was printed and distributed to the public. Likewise, it was put in the Washington DC archives (Wills 43). Prior to the Declaration of Independence, Great Britain and the thirteen colonies were at war, resulting to a huge debt to the British Government. During that time, the parliament performed various measures to control the tax revenue. These acts included Townshend Acts and Stamp Acts. They forced the state colonies to share the costs with the British Empire. However, the colonies denied the right to levy taxes by arguing they were not part of the British parliament. According to Thomas Jefferson, the colonies had their own legislatures while the parliament was the legislator for Great Britain (Wills 30).
In 1774, the Coercive Acts gave authority to the Parliament to punish Massachusetts province for Boston Tea Party in 1773. During this time, the first Continental Congress organized petitioned the king and boycott of British goods to repeal the acts. During the second Continental Congress meeting, delegates hoped for independence, although no one declared it. In 1775, King George issued proclamation of rebellion and offered friendly foreign assistance. In February 1776, the Parliament passed a prohibitory act which issued a blockage to American ships and ports. These were the first steps to declaring independence; however, the Congress lacked ideas on how to accomplish it. Among the delegates there were people elected from thirteen colonies, which included elected assemblies, hoc communities and extralegal convections. Between April and July 1776, declarations were issued in different forms such as formal, written delegations and legislative acts. The text of the declaration’s first sentence concerned natural law, which indicated the ability to acknowledge and assume political independence, which was reasonable. It was critical to resolve political issues in order to equal and separate with the laws of nature. The second sentence dealt with the right to revolution, indicating that individuals had rights, which should not have been violated by the government. It is evident and true that, all men are equal; hence, they have the right to happiness, liberty and life. These rights cannot be abolished by the government.
As a result of proclaiming independence, debates on the issue of slavery were greatly affected. This was due to the contradiction which existed as a result of the notion that all men were equal as well as the existence of slavery in the US. For instance, in 1819, the first notable public debate on the Declaration of Independence and slavery took place in Missouri. Consequently, the Declaration of Independence’s relation to the slavery issue was clearly taken up by Abraham Lincoln in 1854.
The Declaration of Independence had immense impact not only on America, but even on other countries across the globe. For instance, most of the leaders who led the French Revolution clearly admired the way the Declaration of Independence was made in the US. They even borrowed some phrases in order to craft the French Declaration of the Rights of Citizen and Man, which took place in 1789.Other leaders from France, as well as the other parts of the world, were directly swayed by the Declaration of Independence in the USA. This led to several declarations such as the Liberian Declaration of Independence, Venezuelan Declaration of Independence, Vietnam Declaration of Independence in 1847, 1811, 1945 respectively (Stephen 85). In conclusion, one can see that the Declaration of Independence in the USA has helped in shaping regional and global politics as well as improving the issue of human rights.
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