What does the last paragraph state in The Declaration of Independence? The Declaration of Independence (last paragraph): We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in...

What does the last paragraph state in The Declaration of Independence?

The Declaration of Independence (last paragraph):

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, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

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beardian | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

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"That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved"

This portion states that the colonies should be free and independent of Britain,a and all political allegiances and connections should be ended.  This would allow the colonies to rule and govern themselves, instead of having to be governed by the British government.  One of the biggest problems that colonists had against the Crown was that they were being taxed and unrepresented by a government 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean.  Based on ideas from European enlightened thinkers, like Jean Jacques Rousseau, they should be free to govern themselves, and should not have to be governed by a monarch that does not have their best interests in mind.

"As Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do."

As states independent from Britain, they would have the power to go to war, negotiate peace, form their own alliances (they formed one with France to help fight the British during the Revolutionary War), set up their own trading systems where their profits do not have to be sent back to the Crown, etc.  In this portion, the writers are emphasizing different powers and responsibilities that they are not getting as colonies of the British Crown.

"And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor"

This last line maintains that the signers of this Declaration are willing to put their lives, money, and honor on the line to achieve independence.  They reference God to help garner support for their cause- with a firm reliance that God will protect us (because what we are doing is just), we pledge everything we have to support this Declaration and see it through.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The last paragraph of the United States' Declaration of Independence does two main things.

First, it declares that the United States are independent.  It says that they are free of all ties to Britain and it asserts that they have all the rights that other free nations do.

Second, the last paragraph has the people who sign the Declaration swear that they will uphold the Declaration.  In doing this, the signers were explicitly saying that they would dedicate their lives, along with their money and their "sacred Honor," to gaining independence.  They swore this to one another and to the world at large.

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beateach | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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The last paragraph of the Declaration of Independence reiterates that the citizens of the “united Colonies” are no longer interested in being colonies of Great Britain. They are intent on telling the British crown that they are independent states with their own powers not beholden to the authority of Great Britain. The document dissolves political connections between the colonies and the British monarchy, and breaks the allegiance of the people to the King of England.

In addition, the last paragraph of the Declaration of Independence outlines the powers the newly independent states would have. It is important to note that this section describes each state as being an independent entity that would have the power to wage war, establish relationships with other countries, and to build their own trade and business systems.

The signers of the Declaration invoke “Divine Providence” as they create this new venture into independent statehood while showing their solidarity by pledging themselves to it.

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