The United States of America celebrates Independence Day on 4th of July. This crucial day carries lots of significance for the American people. It is very important to understand the document that led Americans to decide about the separation of the United States from the British regime.
The war between France and Britain lasted 7 years. Britain eventually had victory in the War. This massive victory brought a great joy in Britain and also in American colonies. However, this victory turned out to be very expensive to the British government. In order to recover the tremendous debt of the war, Britain levied a number of taxes to the colonies. The Sugar Act was put in action in 1764 which imposed taxes on sugar and other goods. The following year, the British government imposed taxes on all paper documents through the Stamp Act of 1765. Colonists had to pay taxes on each printed paper that were used in the colonies (Stamp Act). 2 years after, in 1767, the Townshend Acts put further taxes on almost everything that were imported by the American colonies. (Townshend Acts). The British government wanted revenue from the American colonies through taxes. However, the Tax Acts imposed by the representatives in Britain were not the representatives from American colonies. This brought a huge tension in the American colonies. The colonial representatives were furious to the British government which led to the consequences of rebellion in colonies against the British government. The unconstitutional acts against the American colonies rose to the mob violence (Declaration). These mobs started destroying every sculpture which related colonies with British regime. In retaliation, the British government sent troops to stop mob violence which brought more tensions in the colonies since these troops started beating and harassing the mob members. Also, the pamphlet Common Sense written by Thomas Paine forced many colonists to consider Independence as the best option (Goldfield,115).
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The colonial leaders then began to think of leaving behind the relationship with Britain. The second continental congress started a campaign to cut off the British rule in Colonies. They proposed Thomas Jefferson to write the declaration of independence. In the declaration of Independence Jefferson points out the inevitable reasons to overthrow the British rule from American Colonies. The unanimous decision of the declaration of Independence proposes the impelling causes to the separation. Jefferson writes, We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” (Declaration). He is making a conclusion that if any government tries to take away the rights of people given by the Creator, the citizen of that government has moral duty to abolish the government and form a new one in order to protect their rights. Jefferson is indicating that the current government is an evil which is torturing its innocent citizen. He clearly remarks the illegal actions of the King of Great Britain towards the colonial citizens in the Declaration of Independence. Some of his illegal actions are rejecting the laws in colonies, taxation on the imports, disregarding the judicial powers, military dependency, cutting the trades off with the rest of the world, disallowing the legislature system, controlling the sea power, etc. The colonists were not ready to accept another day of British rule. And hence, they declare the right to be independent states Along with the declaration, they wanted to have their own government through which they could do all the actions that an independent country does. They wanted absolute zero connection with Britain (Transcription).
Unlike the other founding documents, the Declaration of Independence is not legally binding, but it is powerful (Independence). The British government had been ignoring the past documents that were related to the separation of the Colonies from British rule. However, the Declaration of Independence had shocked badly to the throne. In reply, the British government wrote to the Colonists contradicting the credibility of the declaration document. British King was dissatisfied with the declaration document the way it had blamed King George III for the slave issue. Britain was also unconvinced with the document’s statement all men are created equal because they saw that colonists were still owning slaves. Although Britain tried its best to disregard the declaration of independence by criticizing it, the colonists completely ignored Britain’s comments. In reply, the British sent troops to the colonies within a month of the Declaration of Independence. This time the colonists did not tolerate any of the troops’ oppression. And hence they started fighting back. Even though the British government tried to console the Colonists, the Colonists were firm about their decision to never fall under the British regime again (Surber). The revolutionary war in the British colonies soon became global. It started to look like the war between two different nations. European countries like Spain and France did not like Britain in that period. They found a way to get back at Great Britain by supporting the Americans. With the help of these foreign countries, the colonists became more powerful and were able to win the war against British rule. With the end of the revolutionary war, the United States of America became a free and independent country (Effects).
The significance of the Declaration of Independence has evolved along with the time. Within the next two centuries of the declaration of independence, more than 120 nations have declared their independence. All these nations look back at the declaration of independence of the U.S.A as an ideal document. The Declaration of Independence needs to live as long as the United States of America lives.
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