Why is the Declaration of Independence important today?

Expert Answers
boomer-sooner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Declaration of Independence is still important today because it signifies the birth of a nation, instructs free citizens and provides hope for all people who want to be free.

The Declaration is the birth certificate of America.  It is the document formally declaring the intent of the colonies to govern themselves apart from the English crown.  The Fourth of July is celebrated just as we celebrate a person's birthday.  It stands as the symbol of the beginning of a powerful statement; the power of the government comes from those governed.

It also serves as instructions to American citizens.  The Declaration commands the people to "alter or to abolish" any government when it becomes destructive and fails the people.  It is important because it reminds us it is the responsibility of the citizen to take part in the government.  It also reminds us the reasons the United States separated from England.  The listing provides valid reasons then, and they have not grown any less valid over time.

Finally, the Declaration serves as a beacon of hope to anyone enslaved.  Many countries in Latin and South America base their Constitutions on the United States.  These countries followed the pursuit of freedom outlined in the Declaration of Independence.  Although it specifically outlines the grievances with the King of Great Britain, it also speaks of "governments" in the generic form, sparking the imagination that no government is beyond reproach.

The Declaration of Independence is important because it assures Americans of our past, reminds us to be participants in our present and provides a beacon of hope to the world for the future.  It is our history, our lineage and our legacy to uphold.  

vnessawong21 | Student

The Declaration of Independence serves many purposes. It embodies the principles of governance that decide how a population is governed.The main principal behind this declaration is that the government derives its authority by the consent of the governed and only if the consent is given freely. This way the power is given to the governed to control the government which controls them. While this was a revolutionary concept back in the day it was created it is much more commonplace now and is known as democracy.