Our Nations History
The Importance of our independence By:Tiffany Templin
The importance of the Declaration of Independence is Jefferson began by explaining why the colonies should become independent. He spoke about peoples rights, or freedoms, that cannot be taken away. Many of his ideas were
inspired by John Locke, an Englishman. Locke believed that governments are created in order to protect peoples rights. The people who wrote the Declaration of Independence were John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Robert R. Livingston, and Roger Sherman. Jefferson wrote “ We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Jefferson then said that if a government tries to take away these rights, people should be able to create a new government. He wrote “ Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute ( put in place ) new government.” Jeffersons list of grievances, or complaints, recorded ways that King George III had tried to take away the colonists’ rights. these included, “ He has refused to assent ( agree ) to laws, the most wolesome and necessary for the public good…. He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies, without the consent of our legislatures… For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent: He has plundered ( robbed ) our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.”
The last part of the Declaration of Independence said that because Great Britain had tried to take away their rights, the colonies had the right to become a separate country, to be called the United States of America. These are the words jefferson used: “ We therefore, the representatives of the United States of America… declare that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states…. and…. They have full power to levy ( begin ) war, conclude peace, contract alliances ( partnerships ), establish commerce ( trade), and do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do.”
After this section, each of the members of the Second Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence. John Hancock, the president of the congress, signed it first, with the largest signature.
A Brave Step
Congress voted to approve the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. People throughout the colonies celebrated the event by cheering, ringing bells, and even tearing down statues of King George III. The members of congress signed it in August.
The signers knew that what they were doing could cause them grave personal hardship. They could be accused of treason, which is the crime of fighting against one's own country. If they were found guilty, they could be hanged. The fate, or future, of the new country now depended on the Americans who would sacrifice to win the war for Independence.
In 1776, the phrase “ all men are created equal” did not apply to everyone in society. The rights of women, African Americans, and Native Americans were not recognized, they as they are today. But the declaration was a significant step forward for individual rights.
The Declaration established the idea that the United States government would be based on the idea of freedom, equally, and protecting peoples rights. The story of American history ever since 1776 has, in many ways, been the story of how the promise of the Declaration of Independence has shaped our nation.
Paying off debt? By:Luke Martens
Patriot’s Insight on The Stamp ActOn February 16, 1765, Parliament passed The Stamp Bill. The Stamp Bill taxed many items that we colonists used daily. For example, whenever I buy a piece of parchment or paper, I get taxed a great amount. I heard that there was a war happening back in Great Britain, but I wasn’t even mad about it because they deserved war and they deserved debt, but now they are making us pay it off for them. There is no benefit from that bill that helps the colonies one bit, instead all of it is going towards supposedly “paying off debt” in Britain. We branched off into the colonies as settlers so we wouldn’t be bothered or be involved in the life that we used to live in Britain. I guess that’s not the case. Anyway, I work hard for my money and I don’t want to just let it go down the drain. I think that the Britain government should just back away and let us run our own colonies without them needing our help for expenses that we didn’t even have a part of. If they choose to have a war, let them get in war, but just because they have debt doesn’t mean that I and the other colonists have to pay it. I am willing to fight for my freedom from Britain, and a lot of other people are to.
Shots were fired! By:Chloe Aquino
Life as a Loyalist Soldier
As a soldier myself serving for my country wasn’t that easy. We had to pay for our uniforms everyday that we wore, we were also charged for food and supplies. Also as a Loyalist soldier we were also mistreated by our own commander, we would be punished severely over a minor mistake.
On March 15, 1770 at exactly 9:00 pm an angry mob was approaching the sentry, with Hugh White as the commander standing guard. With time passing I saw more of the people coming from the street and by the looks on their face they were ready for action. I heard from one of our leaders Edward Garrick was insulting White secretly about something about how his company was a joke that it didn’t pay him for his wig. But when White heard about it he made a big mistake by getting involved, because right when I turned my head to see what was happening White had struck Garrick with a musket right in the face. After that had happen the mob was getting even more out of control, people were waving clubs but were throwing stones. After just a couple of minutes later the mob was at it’s last straw and one of the citizens threw a club and hit Hugh Montgomery, right in an instant a soldier fired a gunshot followed by a few more other gunshots. By the gunshots 5 civilians were dead.
The soldiers who shot and killed citizens were sent back home after trial and some of them were charged from other crimes. The Loyalists thought that the people that they killed deserved to die, and some of us didn’t think they deserved to die.In all the Loyalists thought that the people deserved to be dead because they were the ones that started the mob, it wouldn’t have happen if they hadn’t had gotten angry and brought the whole country to turn on them.
The Taxes Keep Coming! By:Mary Humsiton
“ So the British leaders are taxing the american colonies for no good reason, they think that they can just tax people left and right any time they want to. Later on (1765) the British started the stamp act and that got the colonist going, they were so mad that they wanted to fight for freedom and stop this stamp act .The colonists boycotted the British and it’s just because of the Townshend acts they were so mad they just wanted not to be under control by the British because of this the British kept taxing us so all of us has decided that we could right the Declaration of Independence to stop this taxes problem, but the British did not agree with us, so we tried and argued with each other and we kept on doing the same argues until one day the war begun between us and the British.The First victories when the war started in(1775) a Guy from Vermont named Ethan Allen and he is the one who led the colonist troop on nearby lake Champlain and we had ambushed the British and took over their fort and we won, victory is ours.
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MyWorld Social Studies. Boston: Pearson Education, 2013. Print.
"The Stamp Act." Ushistory.org. Independence Hall Association, n.d. Web. 30 Mar. 2014.