The Declaratory Act of the British Parliament (1766)

Editor’s note: Great Britain’s powers that be tried their own hand at declaration crafting during the revolutionary era. Parliament’s aim was to put the colonists in their place — but their Declaratory Act only served to make them more unified against king and parliament over the longer haul. After repealing the loathed Stamp Act of 1765, Britain […]

‘Declarations of our humble opinion respecting the most essential rights and liberties of the colonists’ (Declaration of Rights of Stamp Act Congress) — Declaration of Rights and Grievances, October 19, 1765

Editor’s Note: These resolutions are described by the First Continental Congress as tantamount to “declarations of our humble opinion, respecting the most essential rights and liberties Of the colonists, and of the grievances under which they labour, by reason of several late Acts of Parliament.” The aim is “to procure the repeal of the Act […]

Declaration of Rights and Grievances, October 14, 1774

Editor’s Note:  Well over a year and a half before our July 4, 1776 Declaration of Independence was issued, our First Continental Congress came out with a declaration — of rights and grievances — that was prepared and sent to King George III in England, where it promptly fell upon deaf ears, and as a […]

The Lee Resolution — Our July 2, 1776 Declaration of Independence

Editor’s Note: The resolution declaring independence from Britain was first introduced to the Second Continental Congress by Virginian Richard Henry Lee on June 7, 1776. But it became evident that all the delegates on hand weren’t yet close to supporting it. Those from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and South Carolina were not yet […]

Talbot County, Maryland, Instructions for Independence (June 7, 1776)

Editor’s Note: If ever there was a declaration that shows how sentiments for independence at the most local level can drive its state delegates to do the right thing and join the other colonies in breaking from Britain, this is it.  When the Second Continental Congress first considered, on June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee’s […]

Anne Arundel County, MD, Resolves of Independence (June 22, 1776)

Editor’s Note: Describing themselves as ‘Associators’ (which brings to mind the sundry clusters of voluntary associations that banded together in the years preceding the march toward revolution — formed to combat effective the increasingly onerous acts imposed by King and Parliament — this resolve for independence in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, aims in part to generate a […]

Spanish Translation of July 4, 1776 Declaration of Independence

From Semanario Político, Económico y Literario, Dec. 12, 1821. Cuando en el curso de los acontecimientos humanos se hace necesario para un pueblo disolver los lazos políticos que le han unido con otro y asumir entre los poderes de la tierra, el rango separado é igual, para el cual lo habilitan las leyes de la naturaleza […]

The Declaration of Independence – July 4, 1776

Editor’s Note: In American Scripture, eminent scholar Pauline Maier characterizes the July 4, 1776 Declaration originally as “a workaday document” that came to be “in the grubby world of 18th century politics.” Maybe so, but it has long since come to be seen as “a statement of values that more than any other expresses not why we […]