The Declaration of Independence

The Declaration of Independence Summary

The Declaration of Independence was created over the course of June & July of 1776, was ratified on July 4th, 1776 and signed in its entirety by August 2nd, 1776. The statement within was adopted by the Second Continental Congress – that the signatories and the colonies they represented would no longer be known as such. They threw off the yoke of British rule and declared their independence. In total, 56 delegates signed the document. The largest signature was that of John Hancock, the President of Congress (because of the size of his signature, his name has become a sort of synonym for “signature”).
The Committee of Five were the drafters and presenters of the document; they included Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston. The committee decided that Jefferson should be the one to write the first draft and he did so over the course of 17 days. After finishing, he presented it to the Committee who reviewed it and made changes. After the review was done, Jefferson incorporated the changes and presented it, alongside the Committee, on June 28th, 1776. The presenting was illustrated decades later in the famous Declaration of Independence painting by John Trumbull.

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