Declaration of Independence of the United States of America

The Declaration of Independence of the United States of America (whose official title is The unanimous declaration of the thirteen United States of America) is a document drafted by the second Continental Congress—in the Pennsylvania State House (now Independence Hall).) in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776—which proclaimed that the Thirteen American Colonies—then at war with the Kingdom of Great Britain—had defined themselves as thirteen new sovereign and independent states and no longer recognized British rule;instead, they formed a new nation: the United States. John Adams was one of the politicians who undertook the independence process, approved on July 2 by the full Congress without opposition. A committee (the Committee of Five) was charged with drafting the formal declaration, which was presented when Congress voted on it two days later.

Adams persuaded the committee to give Thomas Jefferson the task of directing the writing of the original draft of the document, which Congress edited to produce the final version. The Declaration was essentially a formal explanation of why Congress broke political ties with Britain on July 2, more than a year after the outbreak of the American Revolution. The next day, Adams wrote to his wife Abigail: "The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable time in the history of America." However, Independence Day is celebrated two days later, on which date It was approved.

On July 4—after ratifying the text—Congress released the Declaration in various forms. It was initially published in John Dunlap's flyer, which was widely distributed and read to the public. The original copy used for this printing has been lost and may have been in the possession of Jefferson. The original draft with corrections by Adams and Benjamin Franklin and additional notes by Jefferson on the changes made by Congress are preserved in the Library of the Congress. The best-known version of the Declaration—a signed copy that is popularly regarded as the official document—is on display at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. This handwritten copy was requested by Congress on July 19 and signed on August 2.

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