Home News The History of the Declaration of Independence 248 Years Ago

The History of the Declaration of Independence 248 Years Ago


The Declaration of Independence is one of the most pivotal documents in American history. It was adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, marking the thirteen American colonies’ decision to separate from British rule.

“248 years ago our Founding Fathers declared independence by saying we are endowed with the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, this is still to this day why America is the greatest county in the world,”Jeremy Newman Sciotopost

Background and Drafting

The journey towards independence began with growing discontent among the colonies due to British taxation and lack of representation in Parliament. The phrase “no taxation without representation” captured the colonies’ frustration. In June 1776, amidst the escalating conflict with Britain, the Continental Congress appointed a committee to draft a formal declaration of independence. This committee included Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston, with Jefferson chosen to write the initial draft.

Jefferson’s draft eloquently articulated the colonies’ right to self-governance and listed grievances against King George III, accusing him of violating the colonists’ rights. The document emphasized the Enlightenment ideals of individual liberty and government by consent of the governed.

Adoption and Signing

After Jefferson presented his draft, it underwent revisions by Adams, Franklin, and the committee before being submitted to Congress. Following intense debate and further edits, the Continental Congress officially adopted the Declaration on July 4, 1776.

The signing of the Declaration of Independence was not a singular event on July 4. Most delegates signed the document on August 2, 1776, although some signed later. John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress, famously penned his large and bold signature, which has since become synonymous with signing one’s name.

Impact and Legacy

The Declaration of Independence proclaimed the birth of a new nation and justified the colonies’ break from Britain. It served as an inspiration for various movements for independence and human rights around the world. The principles enshrined in the Declaration continue to influence American democracy and its values of liberty, equality, and self-determination.

Celebrating Independence

Each year on July 4th, Americans celebrate Independence Day to honor the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. The day is marked with fireworks, parades, concerts, and various patriotic displays, serving as a reminder of the nation’s enduring commitment to the ideals of freedom and independence.