Q:

What was the basic belief of the Declaration of Independence?

A:

Quick Answer

The underlying belief of the Declaration of Independence is that men have God-given natural rights and that government exists to protect those rights. The premise of this doctrine came from John Locke, who believed that if the government no longer serves to protect the needs of its citizens, then those citizens have the right to alter or abolish the government.

Know More
What was the basic belief of the Declaration of Independence?
Credit: UIG via Getty Images Universal Images Group Getty Images

Full Answer

In the case of the 13 American colonies, there was growing dissatisfaction with British rule, culminating in a declaration of independence from rule by the king of England. The cornerstone of the Declaration of Independence, primarily written by Thomas Jefferson and adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, is that all men are created equal. Based on that premise, there are inalienable rights, including the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The new government is then obligated to lay a foundation on principles that are most likely to ensure safety and happiness as well as organize the government in a way that facilitates those goals. The Declaration of Independence firmly established that the colonies intended, among other things, to establish rule by representation, maintain a standing army and have trial by jury. The Declaration was signed by 56 delegates from the 13 colonies, including John Hancock, president of the Second Continental Congress.

Learn more about US History

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What did the Declaration of Independence do?

    A:

    The Declaration of Independence set forth a formal assessment of grievances against the British government and declared that, because their rights had been violated repeatedly, the 13 North American colonies were formally declaring their independence from British rule. It had the additional benefit of bringing all the colonies together as a unified group and provided justification for intervention by future allies, such as France.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Where did the creation of the Declaration of Independence happen?

    A:

    The Declaration of Independence, along with the Constitution, were adopted and drafted inside of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The name of the building was originally the Pennsylvania State House, but the name Independence Hall was given to the building after the birth of the nation happened virtually inside its walls.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Who was the author of the Declaration of Independence?

    A:

    Thomas Jefferson was the author of the first draft of the Declaration of Independence, which he based on the deliberations of a committee of five men, including himself. After incorporating changes suggested by Benjamin Franklin and John Adams, Jefferson presented it to the committee, which submitted it to Congress.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Who was the first to sign the Declaration of Independence?

    A:

    As the President of the Continental Congress, John Hancock of Massachusetts was the first person to sign the Declaration of Independence on Aug. 2, 1776. The last person to sign the document was Thomas Kean of Delaware, and it is believed he signed after January 1777.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore