The Declaration of Independence was established on July 4, 1776 and is a document that is still used in the United States today. At the time, there were only thirteen colonies in America and on that date, these colonies gained their independence from British rule. Whether you have always lived in the United States or are a new resident, it’s important to understand this document and what it means to the country.
Purpose of the Document
Other than helping establish independence from Britain, the Declaration of Independence also set out to outline the rights that citizens of the country have when they live in the United States. The overruling rights include life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The document also outlined why the thirteen colonies did not want to remain under rule of the king, listing the reasons for all to see. By doing so, the authors of the document were allowing Americans to understand what they could expect under the new rule and those things that they could expect to see done away with.
Effects of the Document
When the Declaration of Independence was signed, each person who placed their signature at the bottom was considered to be committing high treason against the Crown and were subject to execution by the British government if they were caught. However, those who did sign the document claimed that it was a legal and binding one and that it exempted them from charges of treason. They did by setting out to prove that the Crown had committed criminal acts that violated the rights of the colonists. This is why a large portion of the Declaration of Independence is actually a list of the crimes that Americans were claiming that the British committed against them.
The Document in Modern Times
The original Declaration of Independence still exists and can be seen at the National Archives in Washington D.C. While the document itself is very old, it still applies to residents living in the United States all these years later. Not only does it continue to declare our independence as a separate nation, but the document plays a role in how modern citizens are governed in the United States. The idea that the nation has to consent to be governed is one that the nation still operates on today. It also still gives the people the power to abolish government that is violating the rights outlined in the document and ensures that the country is self-governed.
The Declaration of Independence is important for everyone who calls America their home. It’s a basic outline of what the government can and can’t do and what rights the people have, as well as what happens when their rights are being violated. The document isn’t something that people think about all the time, but it’s a good idea to become familiar with it and have a basic understanding of what it means to citizens of the United States. It’s an honor to see the original Declaration of Independence and is sure to be something to enhance patriotism among citizens of the nation.