The Declaration of Independence and Its Signers

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1 The Declaration of Independence and Its Signers

2 Objectives Students will be able to explain the events that led up to the colonies severing ties with Great Britain Students will understand the main grievances the colonials had with Great Britain Students will be able to analyze the importance of the Declaration of Independence today

3 Essential Questions What were four factors that led to the drafting and approval of the Declaration of Independence? How can the formation of the American government be seen as an illustration of the Enlightenment philosophy? What were three purposes of the Declaration of Independence? What were 4 grievances that the American Colonists had against Great Britain in 1776? How well does America today live up to the ideals of the Declaration of Independence?

4 Background to Declaration of Independence Mercantilism: economic policy from in which nations encouraged exports as a means of collecting gold and silver Government controls all trade Colonies ensured a safe and steady stream of raw materials for England, including fur, fish, cotton, tobacco, and indigo Colonies were expected to import manufactured and processed goods like iron products and tea Navigation Act: England regulated what its colonies could and could not trade

5 Background to the Declaration of Independence After England won the French and Indian War, King George III demanded control over the colonies King George and Parliament felt the colonists should bear some of the costs and administration of the areas acquired from France. Parliament passed several new acts designed to shift to the Americans some of the cost of defense

6 Background to the Declaration of Independence Stamp Act: required that all printed materials be stamped to indicate that tax had been paid England began to change trade policies as well by used a new monopoly on tea Colonists were angered over the taxes No taxation without representation Stamp Act was repealed in 1766 Boston Massacre 1770 rioting over taxes and the British soldiers killed a man outside of the courthouse in Boston. Crispus Attucks first to die

7 Why Did the Declaration of Independence Happen? Boston Tea Party: a group of angry colonists boarded 3 ships in Boston and threw the tea overboard Intolerable Acts series of laws designed to punish the people of Massachusetts. It limited the power of the colonial legislature, required quartering of British soldiers and closed the port of Boston First Continental Congress formed

8 Second Continental Congress Convened May 19, 1775 George Washington appointed Commander in Chief of the Continental Forces Appointed 5 men to write a declaration stating the colonies intent and reasons for independence June delegates met and debated, each colony had one vote Deliberated for one year January 1776 Common Sense by Thomas Paine explained why there should be independence to the public

9 Resolution of Differences Second Continental Congress drafted the Declaration of Independence. Approved for signature July 2 July Declaration written by Thomas Jefferson was signed, John Hancock signed first with the largest signature Severed ties with Great Britain

10 Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson understood what the actions entailed Wanted to make sure the document explained why the colonists wanted to separate The second paragraph lays down the philosophy for the decision. All men are equal Government was to protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, fundamental rights of all When the government failed to do so, citizens have a right to overthrow it Overthrow is not for trivial reasons, but when treatment becomes absolute despotism

11 Three Basic Principles of the Declaration of Independence Natural Rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness Popular Sovereignty: People are the source of political authority Order: Importance of stability, overthrowing a government is only the last resort

12 List of Grievances that were Improper Actions by the King Dismissing colonial legislatures and denying the colonists their right for self-government Tax the colonists without their consent Maintaining an army in the colonies without the consent of the legislature and elevating the military above civilian authority Forcing colonists to house British soldiers in their house

13 List of Grievances that were Improper Actions by the King Making judges dependent on the King for their salaries and their tenure in office Refusing colonists the right to a fair trial in front of a jury of their peers Cutting off the trade of the colonies Abolishing the Charters, forms of government, and important laws of the colonies Refusing to address colonial grievances Renouncing the King s authority to govern the colonies by waging war on them Encouraging domestic violence and Indian attacks on the colonies

14 Results from the Declaration of Independence 86 Changes were made 500 words were taken out 1,337 words were included 18 signers were under the age of 40 Three were in their 20s Half of the 56 signers were judges and lawyers 11 were merchants 9 were land owners and farmers 12 were doctors, ministers and politicians

15 Main Points of the Declaration of Independence All men are created equal. We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. Men are given by God certain unalienable rights. They are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. We have the natural right by God to declare our independence from England. When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature s God entitle them

16 Main Points of the Declaration of Independence Governments derive their authority from the consent of the people. Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. When a government abuses it s power, the people have the right to overthrow it. That whenever any form of Government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it The colonies tried repeatedly to compromise with King George, but has been a tyrant. Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.

17 Significance The American Colonies finally declared their independence from England It was the first step in the creation of a new nation.

18 Do you think there were consequences for severing ties with Great Britain? What do you think some might have been?

19 Impact Today Ideals of equality led to Civil War, Women s Rights and the Civil Rights Movement Influenced the French Revolution in their Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen in 1789 Latin American Movements of 1890s Vietnam War: Ho Chi Minh used it as a reason to invade the south During World War II it was kept at Fort Knox KY More than 1 million Americans view it in the National Archives each year

20 New Hampshire Delegation Josiah Bartlett Matthew Thornton William Whipple

21 Massachusetts Delegation John Adams Samuel Adams: Had a $35,000 price on his head during the American Revolution Elbridge Gerry John Hancock: Elected Governor of Massachusetts 10 times and had a $50,000 price on his head during the American Revolution Robert Treat Paine

22 Rhode Island Delegation William Ellery Stephen Hopkins

23 Connecticut Delegation Samuel Huntington: Elected Governor of Connecticut 10 times Roger Sherman William Williams Oliver Wolcott

24 New York Delegation William Floyd Francis Lewis Philip Livingston Henry Misner (left before signing) Lewis Morris

25 New Jersey Delegation Abraham Clark John Hart Francis Hopkinson Richard Stockton John Witherspoon

26 Pennsylvania Delegation George Clymer John Dickinson (did not sign) Benjamin Franklin Robert Morris John Morton

27 Pennsylvania Delegation (cont.) George Ross Benjamin Rush James Smith George Taylor James Wilson

28 Delaware Delegation Thomas McKean George Read Cesar Rodney

29 Maryland Delegation Charles Carroll: Last signer to die at 95 in 1832 Samuel Chase William Paca Thomas Stone

30 Virginia Delegation Carter Braxton Benjamin Harrison Thomas Jefferson Francis Lightfoot Lee

31 Virginia Delegation (cont.) Richard Henry Lee Thomas Nelson, Jr. George Wythe

32 North Carolina Delegation Joseph Hewes William Hooper John Penn

33 South Carolina Delegation Thomas Heyward Thomas Lynch Arthur Middleton Edward Rutledge

34 Button Gwinnett: Died in a duel in 1777 at 42 most valued signature due to only 14 examples that exist. Lyman Hall George Walton Georgia Delegation

35 Questions to Answer: CHOOSE 3 What were four factors that led to the drafting and approval of the Declaration of Independence? What were three purposes of the Declaration of Independence? What were 4 grievances that the American Colonists had against Great Britain in 1776? Why was it necessary for Jefferson to outline the philosophy of the new nation instead of just listing what they king did wrong? What does pursuit of happiness mean? How well does America today live up to the ideals of the Declaration of Independence?

36 Assignment You are tired of this class (or school in general), and you want to break away and be an independent person. However, you have to go through me. I want you to create a declaration of independence from school/class. - Tell me why you are making the decision to be independent and the principles that you want to live by in your new independent life - List grievances - Make an argument that convinces me that it is a good idea for you to be independent or I will not grant it.

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