- Slides: 14
Declaration of Independence A Few of Notes
Declaration of Independence • July 4, 1776 – Adopted by the Continental Congress of the 13 American Colonies • The main purpose was to explain and give reasons why the American colonists were revolting against the British Empire • Thomas Jefferson composed original draft • The Revolutionary War had already begun
Declaration of Independence • “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, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. ”
Declaration of Independence • “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. -That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. ”
More stuff… and then a long list of grievances. And then…
Declaration of Independence • “We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States…”
WHATEVA! I DO WHAT I WANT!
Now for some critical reading… But first…
Primary and Secondary Sources • Who knows what “primary sources” and “secondary sources” are? • primary source – an original document from the first source • secondary source – a secondhand account or something writing about an original document or first source Also…
ideology • What does the word “ideology” mean? • ideology – a body of ideas that reflects the beliefs and interests of a group of people, nation, political system, etc. and underlies their actions So…
Historians have disagreed as to whether the colonial leaders were motivated by selfish or ideological reasons when writing the Declaration of Independence. • What would be some examples of ideological reasons? • What would be some examples of selfish reasons?
Now we’ll read two historians’ interpretations of the Declaration of Independence and discuss.
To Do: • Read the excerpts from the Declaration of Independence and summarize in the space provided • Then read the excerpts about the Declaration from two historians, Bernard Bailyn and Howard Zinn, and summarize what their claims are • Then on a separate sheet of paper, which I will collect, please answer the following question: Based on the words in the Preamble, and the interpretations you read by Bailyn and Zinn, do you think the Declaration of Independence was written for selfish or ideological reasons?