America's Background: The Declaration of Independence

Contributed by:
This booklet helps students, analyze the text of the declaration of Independence and examine its purpose. It also tells about the constitution, the first amendment, the bill of rights.
1. No Taxation Without Representation
Declaration of
3. Student Expectation
• Analyze the text of the
Declaration of
and explain its purpose.
4. Declaration of Independence
August 4,, 2017
• We will: analyze and • I will: analyze the
evaluate the text, Declaration of
intent, meaning, and Independence thru a
importance of the series of questions and
Declaration of explain the
Independence. contributions of
Founding Fathers with a
graphic organizer
5. Vocabulary
• Unalienable Rights –
– ‘rights that everyone is born with and cannot be taken
away by the government, without reason.
– John Locke called these ‘natural’ or ‘God given rights’
– Thomas Jefferson listed these in the Declaration of
Independence as:
• life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness
• Grievances –
– Complaints against England’s King George III and the
British Parliament for wrongs against the American
6. Causes of American Revolution
• During the mid-1700s the British and French fought a
war for control of North America.
• The British won the “French and Indian War”,
but it was at a high cost.
• To help repay this debt, the British government placed
taxes on the colonists, including the Stamp Act, the
Tea Act, and the Townsend Act.
• The colonists were not consulted by the British and
they felt this violated their rights as English citizens.
7. Causes of American Revolution
• To show their displeasure with these ‘Acts’ the
colonists came up with the slogan of :
No Taxation Without Representation
• By 1773 the colonists had begun protesting, they
boycotted (refused to buy) British goods, some dressed as
Indians and dumped tea off of a British ship.
• By 1775, the colonists and British soldiers exchanged
shots at Lexington & Concord, the first battle of the
American Revolution!
8. The American Revolution
• The ‘Second Continental Congress’ selected
George Washington as the Commander in Chief of
the new Continental Army.
• It would be Washington’s skill and leadership that
would lead the colonists to independence.
9. Leaders of the Revolution
• John Trumball Jr. was the governor of
Connecticut during the war.
• He refused to join the British, instead he
supplied Washington’s troops with food,
clothing, and weapons.
• John Peter Muhlenberg was a minister who
used his role in the church to help recruit
men for the colonial army.
• His group was called the Black
Regiment, after the black robes he wore.
10. Influences on the Declaration
• John Locke influenced the writing of
the Declaration of Independence with
his idea of ‘unalienable rights’.
• Sometimes called ‘natural’ or
• Locke believed that the government Jefferson
stole my
was supposed to protect an individuals idea
unalienable or natural rights.
• Locke stated these rights were life,
liberty, and pursuit of happiness that
cannot be taken from you without due
11. Thomas Jefferson
12. The Declaration of Independence
• In 1776 the ‘2nd Continental Congress’
began discussing the idea of declaring
independence from England.
• Thomas Jefferson was appointed to head
a committee to draft a statement of
independence from England.
• July 4, 1776, the final draft was approved:
1) It explained why we should be free.
2) It listed the grievances (complaints) we had
with King George III and England’s
3) It declared our independence!
13. Vocabulary
• Self-evident – if something is obvious, clear, or
plain it is called self-evident.
• Social Contract – an unwritten agreement
between the citizens and the government.
– Government agrees to protect us.
– Citizens agree to follow the laws that the government
• Abolish – to formally put an end to something
14. Daily Question
By the end of the lesson you will be expected to –
• Critically write about the responsibilities of the
government and the responsibilities of the
people under a ‘social contract’
15. Excerpts from;
The Declaration of Independence
When in the Course of human
events, it becomes necessary for one
people to dissolve the political bands
which have connected them with
Sometimes it’s just not working and you have to
roll with someone else.
16. Excerpts from;
The Declaration of Independence
a decent respect to the opinions of
mankind requires that they should
declare the causes which impel them
to the separation.
The respectful thing to do to tell your leaders why
you are tired of their crap!
17. Excerpts from;
The Declaration of Independence
We hold these truths to be
self-evident, that all men are
vi io
nt s
created equal,
e v
e lf- ob
S ns
All men, except for women, slaves,
Native Americans, or other minorities
18. Excerpts from;
The Declaration of Independence
that they are endowed by their I tell
Creator with certain you it
was my
Unalienable Rights, that among
these are Life, Liberty and the
pursuit of Happiness.
These rights cannot be taken without due process,
meaning the government must follow certain steps
before taking your life, liberty, or property.
The king had not been following these legal steps.
19. Excerpts from;
The Declaration of Independence
That to secure these rights,
Governments are instituted among
Men, deriving their just powers from
the consent of the governed,
In order to protect these unalienable rights for the
people, governments are created by the people,
and these people agree or consent A Social
to follow the laws created.
20. Excerpts from;
The Declaration of Independence
That 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 new Government,
If the government fails to protect these unalienable
rights and is not serving the people, then the peeps
should revolt and create a new government that does !
21. Signers of the Declaration
• 56 men met in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to sign the
Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.
• These men acted courageously, because the act of
signing the Declaration was treason and was
punishable by hanging.
22. Signers of the Declaration
• John Hancock made his signature so
large that even the King of England
could read it without his
glasses. Man that
• Hancock was the President of the
guy writes
Congress and the first version of the
Declaration only carried Hancock’s
signature when it was sent to the 13
• Hancock’s name became 2nd only to
Washington's as a symbol of
freedom and independence.
23. Signers of the Declaration
• Dr. Benjamin Rush is sometimes known as
the ‘Father of American Medicine’. He
supported educating women and helped
fund an African-American church.
• Charles Carroll a wealthy businessman, he
helped support Revolution with his own
money. He also supported Catholics, that
freedom of religion thing.
• Dr. John Witherspoon a church minister
supported independence, he was quoted
as saying ;
“America was not only ripe for independence,
it was in danger of rotting for want of it.”
24. Americans Win the Revolution
• After winning the first battle at
Lexington & Concord (1775), the
American colonists lost many battles.
• Things looked grim until a surprise
victory at Saratoga (1777), which
brought the French into the war on our
• Finally at Yorktown (1783), the
Continental Army forced the British to
surrender and the war was over.
• In 1783, we became the :
United States of America
25. The Constitution
• The Declaration of Independence (1776) stated the
goals of the Americans as they fought for freedom.
• It promised a system of government that promoted
liberty, equality, and protection of individual rights,
based on the desires of the people.
• It would be the U.S. Constitution that would turn
these goals into a concrete system of government.
26. The Constitution
• The Constitution wasn’t the first
government the USA established.
• Originally the colonies were ruled by
a ‘loose’ agreement called the
Articles of Confederation.
• The Articles of Confederation was
an experiment in government that
failed, it gave too much power to
the state governments and not
enough to the federal government.
27. The Constitution
• In 1787 the Continental Congress
wrote the U.S. Constitution, this
document established the basic
structure of our government.
• It created a government in which
the people hold the power, they
elect their own representatives, as
shown in the first three words.
We the People…
Remember, before the Revolution,
the American colonists were not
represented in the government.
28. The Constitution
• The founding forefathers wanted to
create a government that was strong
enough to defend our nation’s
interests and to promote our general
• They gave the national (federal)
government many powers and they
made the federal law supreme over
any state law.
• That’s why the Constitution is often
called the -
Supreme Law of the Land
29. The Bill of Rights
• When the Constitution was first created
in 1787, not everyone thought it did
enough to protect our individual rights.
• The Federalist Papers helped convince
many that the Constitution would work.
• To make sure of everyone’s support,
when the Continental Congress met
again in 1789 they added ten
amendments to aid in protecting our
individual liberties and freedoms.
• These 1st Ten Amendments became
known as the Bill of Rights.
30. The Bill of Rights 1st Amendment
The First Amendment is actually 5 different amendments.
• Freedom of Religion
– many who came to America came for
religious freedoms, they didn’t want to be
told by their government what they had to
believe in.
• Freedom of Speech
– Protects our freedom to say or write most
– You cannot be jailed for criticizing your
government, as was formerly done.
– BUT, you cannot create a ‘clear and present
danger’ with your speech that might harm
others, such as yelling fire in a crowded
31. The Bill of Rights 1st Amendment
• Freedom of the Press
– Allows newspapers, radio, television, or the
internet to write or publish what they want
to without fear of punishment.
– People need a free press in a democracy to
be informed voters!
• Freedom of Assembly
– During the Revolution it was illegal to gather
in groups of more than three, we now have
the right to peaceful assembly.
• Freedom to Petition
– You have the right to write to government
officials asking them to change a law or
create a law without fear of punishment.
32. 2nd & 3rd
The Bill of Rights
• 2nd - Right to Bear Arms
– People have a right to ‘bear arms’.
– a well regulated military is necessary
to the security of a free state.
– What about automatic weapons????
• 3rd - Prohibits Quartering of Soldiers
– During Revolution the King placed
troops in homes of civilians at the
homeowners expense.
– This prevents the government from
placing soldiers in a civilian’s home.
33. The Bill of Rights 4th Amendment
The 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th Amendments prohibits government
officials from taking away a person’s life, liberty or property
without following certain fair and reasonable procedures.
• 4th – No Unreasonable Searches
– Colonists were smuggling products so
as not to pay the British taxes,
– British government officials would
randomly search a colonists property
looking for smuggled goods.
– Now a judge has to sign a ‘search
warrant’ before your property can be
legally searched.
34. The Bill of Rights 5th Amendment
5th - A person cannot be deprived of life, liberty, or property
without “due process of law”. Certain legal procedures
must be carried out before a person can be punished.
• Eminent Domain gives government the right to take
private property for public use, but they must give you
fair compensation (payment) for the property. Like taking
your home to build a road.
• Double Jeopardy cannot be tried for the same
crime twice. Like OJ Simpson.
• Grand Jury is required to issue an indictment before
you can be tried for a serious crime.
• Self-Incrimination cannot be forced to testify
against yourself. Supreme Court ruling of Miranda v.
Arizona says you must be informed of your rights or
what you say cannot be used.
35. 6th & 8th
The Bill of Rights
• 6th Fair and Impartial Trial
– Must be told of charges against them
– Right to a trial by jury
– Right to be represented by a lawyer
• 8th No Cruel or Unusual Punishment
– No high bail
– Punishment must fit the crime
– No cruel punishments
– No torture
36. 9th & 10th
The Bill of Rights
9th & 10th attempt to limit the powers of the government
• 9th Amendment
– Just because the Constitution doesn’t list a
right doesn’t mean we don’t have it.
– the people have all rights not specifically
given to the government.
• 10th Amendment
– The federal government has only those
powers specifically given to it in the
– All other powers are reserved for the states
or the people!
37. The Constitution
• The Constitution is divided into 3 parts.
• The Preamble
– Introduction explains goals of Constitution.
– The part we all know because it starts with
“We the People…”
• The Articles
– Seven Articles establish the different parts
of government and the power and
responsibilities of each branch.
• The Amendments
– The changes that have been made
– First Ten Amendments aka ‘Bill of Rights’
– 17 Amendments have been added over last
200+ years for a total of 27 Amendments
38. Legislative Branch
The Constitution set up our government with 3 branches.
Legislative – Executive - Judicial
• Legislative - the Congress was established under Article I
Congressmen are elected by the people of the USA
– Senate
• 2 Senators for each state,
• 100 Senators total
– House of Representatives
• based on a states population, bigger states = more ‘reps,
• 435 Representatives total
– Create our laws
– Raise or lower our taxes
– Declare war
39. Executive & Judicial Branches
• Executive – the President was established under Article II
– Commander of the Military
– Signs bills into law
– Appoints Supreme Court judges
• Judicial – Supreme Court was established under Article III
– “Marbury v Madison” gave Supreme Court the power of
Judicial Review, to determine if a law follows the
– Lower courts across the USA
– 9 Justices on the Court
40. Principles of The Constitution
• Limited Government – powers are
limited by the Constitution. King
John signed Magna Carta in 1215
limiting the powers of the ruler.
• Popular Sovereignty – the people
hold the power and give the
government its power. We consent
to be governed.
• Federalism – power is divided
between the national government
and the states. Some are shared,
some only for national government,
some only for the states.
41. Principles of The Constitution
• Separation of Powers – federal
government is divided into three
separate branches.
• Checks and Balances – prevents any
one branch from becoming too
powerful, each branch can stop or
‘check’ the other two.
• Amendments – Constitution allows for
changes or ‘amendments’ to adapt to
changing times and events.
– The 1st 10 are the Bill of Rights.
– There has been 27 all totaled
42. John Jay
• John Jay was a member of the Continental
Congress that created the Constitution.
• Jay helped negotiate the ‘Treaty of Paris’
ending the American Revolution.
• An author of the ‘Federalist Papers’, these
essays were used to convince Americans to
support the Constitution.
• Pres. G. Washington appointed John Jay as
the 1st Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
• Jay later served a governor of New York
where he worked to fix prison problems
and to abolish slavery
43. What Are Americans ?
• We have found out that colonists fought the American
Revolution to gain their unalienable rights the King had
been taking from them.
• We know the Declaration of Independence explained
our issues with England and expressed our desire for
• We created the Constitution to limit the powers of a
government and to protect our individual freedoms.
• We discovered how Americans came to be a people….
• But, What are Americans ?
44. What Are Americans ?
• As the American Revolution came to an end and a new
United States began to grow, some people began to notice
that America was much different than Europe.
• In Europe there were still hereditary social classes (born
rich), with little chance of advancement for those born
• Land in Europe was owned by a few wealthy families and
there was very little land available for people to buy.
45. What Are Americans ?
• In Germany there were people with a common German
ancestry, in France they were French, in England they were
English, and so no and so on…
• But, in America a new society developed
• Opportunities were there for those who chose to work for
• Americans were everything from everywhere, a huge
mixture of nationalities that had never before been seen.
46. What Are Americans ?
• Hector St. John de Crevecoeur was
a French immigrant who came to
America in the mid 1700s.
• St. John de Crevecoeur wrote a book
Letters to an American Farmer
describing the new American society.
• He was impressed by the melting
pot (mixing of people), the natural
resources available, the absence of
Kings and nobles, and the willingness
of the Americans to work hard to
improve their lives.
47. What Are Americans ?
• Alexis de Tocqueville was sent to America
by the French government to study the
American prison system.
• Tocqueville wrote Democracy in America in
I know of no
which he tried to identify how the new country where the
love of money has
Americans were different from the taken a stronger
hold on the
European society they had come from. affections of men
• Tocqueville observed that the Americans
differed because of their social equality
and had an overriding concern with money
48. Tocqueville’s Take On the USA
Tocqueville had 5 values he found important to
1 America’s success as a constitutional republic
• Egalitarianism refers to equality in society. Nobles
• Europe had been built around distinct Middle Class
hereditary classes which separated the Poor
nobles from the middle class and the poor. Europe’s Social
Classes King
• In America everyone was socially equal,
except slaves and Native Americans.
• The availability of land and the ability of
anyone owning it in America was unheard
of in Europe.
America’s Social
49. Tocqueville’s Take On the USA
Tocqueville had 5 values he found important to
2 America’s success as a constitutional republic
• Populism refers to the participation of the
common people in government.
• Tocqueville found that in American
society everyone had the same right to
take part in their government.
• Liberty refers to the protection from a
3 tyrannical (all powerful) government.
• Tocqueville found Americans devoted to
‘rule of law’ and the ‘federal system’
preventing an over-powerful government.
50. Tocqueville’s Take On the USA
Tocqueville had 5 values he found important to
4 America’s success as a constitutional republic
• Individualism refers to the ability of the
people to decide what type of groups or
organizations they wished to be part of.
• Individuals were free to rise as high in
society as their work took them, or as low.
• Laissez-Faire refers to the ‘hands off’ approach
5 by the government to our economy.
• Tocqueville felt that the individual was the best
judge of their own interests, not the
52. 19th Century America
(1830s – 1865)
• During the 1800s (19th century)
the Industrial Revolution
introduced the factory system
and output of products soared.
• Manufacturing, especially in the
North, became the primary
source of income.
• The South also experienced
growth in manufacturing, but
only at a fraction of the rate.
• The West had fewer factories
than the North or South.
53. 19th Century America
(1830s – 1865)
• During the mid-1800s the USA
continued its population growth.
• The North experienced this growth
as people came looking for work in
the factories.
• While the South remained
dependent on slave labor, with 1/3
of the population of the South as
• The West would soon change as
the idea of Manifest Destiny would
lead settlers into the frontier.
54. The Civil War (1861-1865)
• The rise of industry and the way the
government treated the different areas
would eventually led to a Civil War.
• Southern states believed they had the
right to say no to tariffs (taxes on imports)
and other laws they disliked.
• Southerners were also fearful that the
North would abolish slavery,
something they depended on to
produce their #1 crop of cotton.
• As the South became more dependent
on cotton, they also became more
dependent on slave labor.
55. The Civil War (1861-1865)
56. The Civil War (1861-1865)
• Timeline of Civil War –
– 1861 the war starts as South
attacks North at Ft. Sumter, SC
– 1863 Emancipation Proclamation
issued by Lincoln freeing slaves in
Confederate states.
– 1863 Battle of Gettysburg and
Lincoln gives Gettysburg Address.
– 1865 South surrender to North at
Appomattox Courthouse in VA.
– 1865 Lincoln assassinated 5 days
after Civil War ends
57. The Civil War (1861-1865)
The Confederacy
• In 1861, the South would secede and
declare themselves the Confederate
States of America, aka The Confederacy.
• The Confederacy would start the war
with an attack on a Union fort called
Ft. Sumter in South Carolina.
• The South elected Jefferson Davis as their
President, but the real leader of the
Confederacy was Gen. Robert E. Lee.
58. The Civil War (1861-1865)
The Union
• The Northern states, led by Abraham Of the people,
by the people,
Lincoln, had the advantage of greater for the people
resources and a larger population.
• At the beginning of the war. Lincoln’s
plan was to preserve or keep the
Union united as 1 nation.
• Later, Lincoln would issue the
Emancipation Proclamation, which
freed the slaves in the rebelling
Confederate states, this changed
purpose of war to ending slavery. 13th Amendment would
later abolish slavery
59. The Civil War (1861-
• Battle of Gettysburg (1863)
– Bloodiest battle ever on USA’s soil,
with 50,000 casualties in 3 days that
ended the South’s chances of victory.
• Gettysburg Address (1863)
– Lincoln’s speech to honor the dead,
taking just 2 minutes it became most
famous speech in American history.
– Supported idea of equality as stated in
Declaration of Independence.
– Explained the Civil War was struggle to
preserve the Union (the USA)
– Claimed a new birth of freedom to
bring equality to all of USA’s citizens.
61. ‘Four score
‘ --- that and
this seven
under ago our
have a
new birth forth on this–
of freedom
continent, a new nation,
and that government of
conceived in liberty,
the people, by theand
people, for thetopeople,
proposition that all
shall not perish men
are created equal’
the earth.’
-- refers
refers to
to the
United States of
62. The
Civil War and Civil Rights
Following the Civil War three Constitutional Amendments
were written to protect individual rights and liberties
• 13th Amendment
– Abolished slavery, 9 million people were now free
– Many Southerners didn’t agree with this.
• 14th Amendment
– All citizens have ‘due process’ & ‘equal protection’ under the
– 13th had freed the slaves, but many in the South attempted to
limit the rights of these newly freed slaves with Jim Crow laws
or the black codes.
– Idea of ‘separate but equal’ was established as a result of this
• 15th Amendment
– Made it illegal to deny a person suffrage or (right to vote)
based on their race.
– Gave former male slaves the right to vote.
63. America After the Civil War
To thisthis
From …. ….
• As a result of the Civil War, the United
States government secured it
supremacy over the states and the
Union remained united as ONE.
• “E Pluribus Unum”, which means
‘from many comes one’ shows the
idea that America stands together.
• “In God We Trust” became our
national motto and has been used on
our money since 1864.
• These words came from our national
anthem the Star Spangled Banner.
64. Manifest Destiny
• In 1862 the U.S. Government passed
the Homestead Act of 1862.
• This law opened settlement of the
Great Plains and gave people a
chance to become landowners.
• Remember Tocqueville’s observation
So much
about difference between old school land is
Europe and the new American’s was available
the ability to acquire land.
• The Transcontinental Railroad was
completed in 1869, it connected the
eastern USA with the west and helped
settle the frontier of the West
65. Declaration of Independence (1776)
• Mostly written by Thomas Jefferson during the American
• Gave reasons why the colonists were demanding
independence from Britain.
• Listed the grievances of American colonists against the
British King.
• Argued the purpose of government was to protect citizen’s
unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of
• Justified the overthrow of a government, if that government
abused the people’s rights.
66. U.S. Constitution (1787)
• Replaced the Articles of Confederation.
• Established a new government.
• Provided for three branches of government:
– Executive with a President
– Legislative with a two-house Congress
– Judiciary with a Supreme Court
• Provided a set of principles to ensure the federal
government would not be too powerful:
– Federalism
– Limited government
– Checks and Balances
– Popular Sovereignty
67. First Amendment (1791)
Protection of Individual Freedoms
• Congress cannot establish a state religion and Congress
cannot stop individuals from practicing their own
• Congress cannot make laws limiting someone’s freedom
of speech.
• Congress cannot make laws limiting freedom of the
• Congress cannot make laws prohibiting people from
peacefully assembling.
• People have a right to petition their government to
correct wrongs.
68. Bill of Rights (1791)
Other amendments in the Bill of Rights
• Protections of Individual Freedoms
– Second Amendment: citizen’s have right to bear arms.
– Third Amendment : No Quartering of soldiers.
• Protections of the Rights of the Accused
– Fourth Amendment: No unreasonable searches and seizures
by the government.
– Fifth Amendment: established a series of ‘due process’
– Sixth Amendment: Fair and impartial trial.
– Eight Amendment: No cruel of unusual punishments; no
excessive bail or fines.
69. Alexis de Tocqueville
• Frenchman who came to America to study its prison
• Wrote Democracy in America.
• Some historians have identified 5 key characteristics
of American democracy that Tocqueville believed
set Americans apart from Europeans:
– Liberty, Individualism, Egalitarianism (equality), Populism
(people hold the power), and Laissez-Faire (government should
stay out of our business).
70. Other Key Individuals
• George Washington – served as Commander in Chief
of the Continental Army, and as our first President.
• Thomas Jefferson – wrote most of the Declaration
and later served as 3rd President.
• John Hancock – President of the Continental
Congress and signed his name in LARGE print on the
• John Jay – Helped to write the Federalists Papers,
was the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and
negotiated the Treaty of Paris ending the war.
71. Other Key Individuals
• John Trumbull, Sr. – colonial governor who side
with the colonists against British.
• John Peter Muhlenberg – minister who recruited
soldiers to fight British with his Black Regiment.
• Benjamin Rush – Father of American Medicine
and signer of the Declaration.
• John Witherspoon – signer of the Declaration.
• Charles Carroll – signer of the Declaration.
72. The Civil War
• Fought between Northern states and the Southern
states over issues of states’ rights and slavery.
• Under Pres. Lincoln’s leadership the North defeated
the South and we remained the U.S.A..
• ‘E Pluribus Unum’ - “Out of many comes one” is minted
on our coins to remind us that we remain united as one!
• 3 amendments came out of the Civil War, these were
the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement:
– 13th abolished slavery
– 14th gave due process, equal rights, and citizenship
– 15th gave suffrage (voting rights) to African American men
73. The Civil War
• Pres. Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation
freeing slave in Confederate states, changing the
goal of the war to abolishing slavery.
• Battle of Gettysburg is among most important
battles ever fought on American soil.
• Pres. Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address to honor
the dead. God,‘ --- that this nation, under
shall have a new birth
‘Four score and seven years
ago our fathers brought
of freedom – and that forth on this continent, a
government of the people, new nation, conceived in
liberty, and dedicated to the
by the people, for the
proposition that all men are
people, shall not perish created equal’
from the earth.’
- refers to the
- refers to the
Declaration of
United States