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Explain the 4 parts of the Declaration of Independence.What is the Preamble,...

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lilkitty | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted September 21, 2010 at 6:40 AM via web

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Explain the 4 parts of the Declaration of Independence.

What is the Preamble, Declaration of Natural Rights, List of Grievances, and Resolution of Independence?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 21, 2010 at 6:46 AM (Answer #1)

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As you say, the Declaration of Independence has these 4 parts.

The first part is the declaration of natural rights.  It says that people have these rights by the fact that they are human.  These are not rights that the government gives them -- they have them automatically because they are people.

Then you have the preamble.  It gives the reasons why the colonists think they have the right to rebel.  It says that if their government doesn't protect their rights, they have the right to rebel.

The third section gives all the ways that (Jefferson claims) the king has failed to protect the colonists' rights.  This ties in to the previous section and gives the specific things the king has allegedly done wrong.

Finally, the fourth section comes out and says "so now, because of this stuff, we are our own country."

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bmrasmussen | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted November 25, 2014 at 1:58 PM (Answer #2)

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The Declaration of Independence does indeed have four parts.

The parts come in this order:

FIRST, the preamble basically says why the Continental Congress wrote the Declaration of Independence.  It states that when it becomes necessary because of injustice, a group of people should be able to state their grievances and take action.  The preamble is the first item in a document almost 100% of the time - thus, it is called the PREamble, or "explanatory stuff that comes first".  Other words for a document's preamble are "preface", like we have in books, or "introduction", like when a speaker is introduced before his speech.

SECOND, the Declaration of Natural Rights states that all human beings were given certain rights by their Creator and that the government should protect these rights.  

THIRD, the List of Grievances, gives a run-down of all the rights that the Continental Congress believed the British government, and King George III in particular, has violated.

FOURTH and last, the Resolution of Independence says what the Continental Congress has decided to do about all the aforementioned things.  In this section, the United States informs Britain that it has decided to become its own country.  


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