In 1776, Thomas Jefferson penned the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration argues that governments exist for the benefit of the people, not rulers, and that the people should decide how to govern themselves. The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, written by the Marquis de Lafayette, states the people’s ideals for individual rights and freedom. Study these two documents and then complete this sheet.
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Who wrote it? Thomas Jefferson
When was it written? 1776
Where was it written? Philadelphia, Virginia United States
Why was it written? To declare the colonist’s independence. For whom was it written? Great Britain/King George III
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Declaration of Independence
Excerpt One, First and Second Paragraphs
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
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.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, —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, laying its foundation on such...
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