What was the Declaration of Independence?
The Declaration of Independence was for the 13 colonies in America to fully separate from Great Britain and no longer be under the British rule.
On June 11 1776 the Continental Congress appointed five leaders, called the Committee of Five, to write a document explaining why they were declaring their independence. The five members were Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Robert Livingston, Roger Sherman, and Thomas Jefferson. The members decided that Thomas Jefferson should write the first draft because he was the best writer and not controversial like John Adams. Over the next few weeks Thomas Jefferson wrote the first draft and, after some changes made by the rest of the committee, they presented it to Congress on June 28, 1776.
Many of the states where unsure about their decision as to whether they would sign the document but after much debate there was a consensus of approval.
On July 3, 1776 the Congress officially adopted the final version of the Declaration of Independence and agreed that the next day would be the official day of celebration. This day July 4th is still celebrated in the United States as Independence Day.
The Declaration of Independence did more than just state that the colonies wanted their freedom. It explained why they wanted their freedom. It listed all the cruel things that the King had done to the colonies and that the colonies had rights which they felt they should fight for.