Why Was The Declaration Of Independence Written

Why was the Declaration of Independence written?

Expert Answers
alohaspirit eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It was created as a response to Great Britain overtaxing the colonists, so the founding fathers decided to send a declaration to King George declaring that America would be free, and that was the cause of the American Revolution.  It was a document that expressed the ideals of the colonists and the desire to have their own government built on democratic ideals.  This document would also be the basis for the U.S. Constitution, which is still the law of the land today.

dbello eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Declaration of Independence was written in order to clarify and justify the actions of The Second Continental Congress, which was to assume the powers of an offical government. The colonists' saw themselves as Englishmen, with all the rights of Englishmen. However, after numerous usurptions the colonists contested the violations of the Parliament based upon English liberty. The Declaration of Independence combined purpose with principle. In June 1776 the Congress of the united colonies appointed five delegates to produce a formal written declaration of independence, after several weeks Thomas Jefferson completed the draft.It was written to King George III and the world to read. Think about it, a public statement affirming the tyranny of the English King and a testament to the hypocrisy of the English Parliament.

It had three purposes;

1. a theory of government

2. a list of complaints

3. a declaration of war


Jefferson also included principles of 'Enlightment' thought

1. 'all men are created equal'

2. born with inalienable rights from the God, not the king among them 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness' (Jefferson clearly bases this statement on John Locke's, Life, Liberty, Property theory)

3. Governments are instituted among men, not the other way around, thus the notion of the 'consent of the governed'

4. If a government did not act on behalf of the people, the people had a right to abolish or alter the government to their just needs

Here's a short video explaining the creation and significance of the Declaration of Independence:


tisha06 | Student

The Declaration of Independence was written to explain why the colonists had a right to revolt against and become independent from England. The colonists largest complaint was that rules were being passed in England that affected their life in the colonies, but the colonists had no representation in England to voice their opinions of the colonists when the laws were being passed.

The declaration states that the people have the right to overthrow a government that is not protecting their liberties, that governments and kings are not held in place by God, but by the people who serve them, the colonists specific grievences against King George of England, and that the British people failed their fellow citizens in America.

zcoupart | Student

It was that point when the national identity had to be found and thirteen states could no longer stand the fact of being considered as British colonies. I do think it was the most important moment in American history since so many people shared the same feeling of being connected and close to each other. It meant a lot because it eliminated Great Britain's control and helped Americans get rid of obtrusive taxes.

ik9744 | Student

The Declaration of Independence was written due to the fact that the colonists believe they shouldn't be taxed if they are on new grounds. To be honest they technically still British citizens so they should be taxed, but they believed otherwise. Soon they wrote the document for the statement that they are no longer under control by the British Government.

k-12-95 | Student

The Declaration of Independence itself answers the question, "Why was the Declaration of Independence written?"

The document contains a preamble that says this is an important document, it has a purpose.  It also says that because the other nations need to know why the British Colonies in the New World presume to take it's place in the world as an equal to all the other nations, this document will list the grievances the Colonies have against the Crown.

Most of that document is the enumeration of the reasons why the Colonies are declaring themselves independent of the British Crown.  Read the document and you'll know exactly why it was written.  It is very open with its reasons.  There is no mystery or guessing involved.  Read it and you'll get your answer.  You'll be surprised by what is in there.

xxbibixx | Student

During the mid-to-late 1700s, the British Parliament passed a number of laws that severely limited the freedoms of English colonists in America. As a result, in 1774, delegates from the colonies formed the First Continental Congress to send a list of complaints to King George III. The King ignored the colonists. In June 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia and decided it was time to create a document that declared America's independence from Great Britain. Because the King kept ignoring the colonists' complaints, the only choice left was to rebel.

Chantelm | Student

The founding fathers wrote the Declaration of Independence to address the British and try to convince them to liberate North America. They were weary from all the taxes put on them and they've had enough of them controlling North America.

Yojana_Thapa | Student

The authors of the Declaration of Independence used he philosophy of natural rights. The purpose was to response to the British. The authors appealed to the sympathies of the English people. The accused George III of tyranny.

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