July 4 - 1776 - The Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence was, in a way, late to the party when it came to the American Revolution. Shots were first fired over a year earlier, and the calls for independence had been taking place throughout the spring of 1776. Yet the Continental Congress took time to consider exactly how to phrase the document that would announce independence. Partly, this was a problem with whether or not the Continental Congress had authority to declare independence. A Committee of Five, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Roger Sherman, John Livingston, and Thomas Jefferson, crafted a plan for the language of the document and an outline for the arguments, while Thomas Jefferson wrote a first draft. Then the Congress edited the document and agreed to it on July 2. On July 4, 1776, they finally sent out the Declaration of Independence. Although its promises and ideals were not always covered in America, the arguments presented allowed for various groups to assert their rights as citizens throughout American history.