The inevitability of a break with the mother country, which especially increased after the beginning of hostilities in April , was realized by a growing number of Americans. June 7, R. The discussion around R. Lee resolution resumed on July, 1st and ended with its unanimous approval right the next day.
Then the discussion of the draft of the Declaration began, in which it has been amended, in particular the chapter, condemning slavery and the slave trade, was removed. In the evening of July, 4th the Declaration was unanimously approved and certified by the signatures of the President of Congress John Hancock and Secretary Charles Thomson. The Delegation of New York did not take part in the voting on 2d and 4th of July due to the lack of the necessary authority and joined the general consensus only on July, 15th.
The Declaration of Independence has not only explained the reasons that led the Americans to the separation from the mother country. It was the first document in the history, which declared the principle of sovereignty as the basis of government. Jefferson was able to express well-known principles and ideas with the magnificent language, but in a concise and accessible form.
Livingston refused to sign the Declaration. At the same time Bracton K. Rutledge signed the Declaration, despite the fact that earlier they played against it, and R. Morris, who considered it premature, put his signature as well. In addition, the official and private papers of Members of Congress are not typically preserved, published, or widely available when archived. More problematic for this inquiry, the interpretation of Presidential papers remains more an art than a science, as students of the Presidency have developed few standardized methods that apply easily across time or individual.
This methodological deficiency seems inconsequential for individual biographical studies, yet its effects are not necessarily insignificant. One historian, for example, associated the reformist impulses of President Rutherford B. The portrait of Hayes clearly captures elements of his personality and historical era, but other biographical commentaries and the 5-volume Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes—the first published diary of a U.
Similar interpretative problematics plague the analysis of other Presidential papers. Eisenhower include few and primarily incidental references to the Declaration of Independence; and yet, it would be incorrect to infer neither President used or was affected by the Declaration. Given these qualifications, the remainder of this essay employs two complementary approaches in an attempt to illuminate different elements of the substantive relationship between the Declaration of Independence and the individuals who have served in Congress and the Presidency.
Part I identifies several general principles of the Declaration that are prominently although inconsistently reflected throughout the historical development of both national institutions. This first approach allows us to recognize the general ways by which Members of Congress and U. Presidents have participated within—and therefore, have been influenced by—a political context and tradition whose framework and principles were first articulated in the Declaration of Independence.
General Principles Although many conditions and individuals contributed directly to the formation and subsequent development of Congress and the U. Presidency, several ideas articulated in the Declaration have been consistent and, more important, prior sources of influence upon these institutions. The first and perhaps most obscure idea and influences is derived from the ways in which the Declaration characterizes the world and human nature. These premises identify dependent relationships between the attributes of the world and of human nature and their prior and singular, shared cause.
The second relationship is between a set of human qualities and their divine creative origin. This idea manifested itself in several ways. These ideals have been the common, unexamined expectations of many Members of Congress, Presidents and the American people up to the present day, but they represent noteworthy breaks from mainstream eighteenth-century political thought and the context of American colonial experiences under British rule, which privileged the ideas, institutions and practices of imperialism, colonialism, monarchical will, and Parliamentary sovereignty.
This original endorsement initiated a constitutional tradition within which many Members of Congress and U. Presidents have subsequently participated—a tradition that permits and encourages conceptions and pursuits of legal, political and social alternatives to the status quo. The details and consequences of these influences require little rehearsal because they appear as integral parts of both the Articles of Confederation and the U. The final general influence of the Declaration of Independence upon Congress and U.
Presidents is reflected in its support and promotion of a democratic political culture. In numerous localities, the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence prompted public celebrations— no doubt, forerunners of subsequent Fourth of July celebrations in which the American people, Members of Congress, U.
Presidents, and others have publicly commemorated the anniversary of the Declaration. The Declaration and its annual celebrations also furthered the development of an activist democratic political culture once social groups and individuals including political candidates recognized the derivative rhetorical and political opportunities associated with these public events.
Since at least , the Declaration and the Fourth of July have been prominent parts of American civic discourses, political campaigns, and the beginning of many political careers, including U. Representative and Senator Daniel Webster whose early public speaking reputation began and grew with every Fourth of July speech he gave Remini, ; Waldstreicher, ; Burstein, Historical Uses of the Declaration of Independence In addition to the identified general influences of the Declaration of Independence upon the U.
For the sake of analytical clarity, these historical particulars are organized and presented below in four chronological eras. The first era extends from to ; the second from to; the third from to ; and the fourth era from to Members of Congress additionally recognized the anniversary of the Declaration, but with few legislative sessions extending into July, many were free to participate in Fourth of July celebrations in their local communities.
Outside of Congress, the Declaration of Independence was revered both in private and in public celebrations throughout the Revolutionary years as the original public statement of the American cause. Its substantive content, however, was not widely contested or used to justify much beyond efforts to secure American Independence from Great Britain.
There also is little evidence that delegates to the Constitutional Convention consulted the Declaration when debating, composing, or subsequently ratifying the new U. Constitution Detweiler, , pp. Too much, however, can be made of these early silences in the historical record, for much of the Constitution embodies the principles of consent, limited government, and constitutional change articulated originally in the Declaration. By the s, Fourth of July celebrations had become public, ritualized, principally local expressions of Independence and American nationalism.
To some, the popularity of these celebrations exposed a fuller understanding of the constitutional significance of the Declaration.
Antislavery advocates also recognized the value of marrying Fourth of July celebrations with their Declaration-supported arguments against slavery. American Presidents and Members of Congress were slower and more cautious in their early uses of the Declaration. An early exception occurred when the First Congress debated an impost bill in In the end, at the urging of others including his Virginia colleague James Madison, Parker agreed to withdraw his original motion.
More commonly, early Members of Congress and Presidents occasionally found it useful to recall or echo parts of the Declaration in their public discussions and writings.
In Letters of Helvidius , for example, U. Toward the end of the s, opponents of President John Adams discovered additional political uses of the Declaration, employing it effectively in their efforts to build a national opposition party against him and the Federalists. Caught in opposition to the Declaration and, after , with an unpalatable interpretation of the Constitution, Federalists were silenced by the new symbolic and conceptual consensus, never again regaining control of either Congress or the Presidency.
Two additional uses of the Declaration of Independence before also deserve mentioning.
Declaration Of Independence The Declaration of Independence is a document that was written by the continental congress and tommas Jefferson in perticular to the king of england and the english parlament. It was written as a statement to the english that .
The Goals of the Declaration of Independence Essay Words | 5 Pages. The Goals of the Declaration of Independence The American Revolution was not only a battle between the British and the colonists; it was a historical movement that brought about new ways of thinking.
Analysis of the Declaration of Independence Essay Words | 5 Pages. Analysis of The Declaration of Independence The Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson was made in order to give the colonists a way to break free from the shackles of King George. In conclusion, the declaration of independence is a document that jump-started the United States. It explains why they had to the right to separate from Great Britain, and many unjust actions they inflicted upon the colonies. The declaration is a very thorough complex document that would not worked in .
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