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Declaration of

Independence
The Ultimate Breakup Letter
Fighting has begun, so…
The Second Continental Congress Common Sense by Thomas Paine

● 65 delegates from ALL 13 ● Age of Enlightenment in Europe


colonies met in Philadelphia on ● Thomas Paine - believer in new
May 10, 1775 ideas, came to the colonies in
1774
● Three Tasks: ● Published booklet in 1776
1. To organize the colonies for ○ People should rule themselves rather
war against the British than be ruled by a king
○ America can show the world a better
2. To decide who should lead
form of government
the new army ○ Wrtten in simple terms. Why?
3. To decide whether to declare ○ 500,000 copies sold
independence from Great ○ Swayed many votes in favor of
independence
Britain.
Thomas Jefferson’s Desk

Read and Think

● What objects do you see?


● What might be the purpose of
these object?
● Which items are the tools
Jefferson wrote with?
● What do you think the invitation
might be for?
● Why might Jefferson have the
booklet Common Sense on his
desk?
Declaration of Independence - Let’s Watch the Video!

"We're done with your


nonsense, stay over there and
we're going to make our own
thing over here, okay? Deal
with it."

Lo and behold, the United States of America was born.


The Four Parts of the Declaration

1 2 3 4
The Preamble - an A Declaration of A Bill of Indictment - A Statement of
introduction stating Rights - states that listed the ways that Independence -
that the colonies “all men are created King George III had declared the colonies
should be equal” mistreated the independent, with all
independent of Great colonies ties to great Britain
Britain. ended.
Let’s Take a Closer Look

● These are excerpts from the


Declaration of Independence.
Some paragraphs have been
taken out to shorten it and make it
easier to interpret.

● It has the exact words, just not


ALL of them.

● With a partner, complete the


required tasks listed on the right.
Found Poem

● poems that are composed from words and


phrases found in another text

○ read the Declaration


○ pick out (highlight) descriptive words,
phrases and lines
○ arrange and format the excerpts to
compose your own poems
○ Your poem should include lines from each
of the FOUR sections of the Declaration of
Independence
○ your poems should carry the meaning of
what Declaration of Independence means
to you
A Different Look at the
Declaration of
Independence
“The king denied the sacred rights
1. Some
changes were
of life and liberty… of a distant
people who never offended him,
Ideas Vs.
made to the
draft that made
captivating and carrying them into
slavery…” Reality
Jefferson upset.
“There must doubtless be an unhappy
2. Jefferson influence on the manners of our people
thought produced by the existence of slavery among
slavery was us.”
wrong.

3. Took steps “The abolition of domestic


against slavery is the great object of
slavery. desire in these colonies.”

4. His ACTIONS
He owned about 600 slaves
5. Believed freed were not as clear in during his lifetime.
enslaved people his personal life.
could not live
side-by-side with “Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate that these
whites. people are to be free, nor is it less certain that the two races,
equally free, cannot live in the same government.
VIDEO: Jefferson's former plantation quickly works to include the
stories of the enslaved

Monticello
George Washington's life and letters show his struggles with
the reality and inhumanity of slavery in the beginning of our
fight for independence. In 1786, Washington wrote of slavery,
"there is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I
do, to see a plan adopted for the abolition of it." He devised a
plan to rent his lands and turn his people who were enslaved
into paid laborers, and at the end of his presidency he quietly
freed several of his own household people who were
enslaved. In the end, he could take it no more and decreed in
his will that his people who were enslaved would become free
upon the death of his wife. The old and infirm were to be
cared for while they lived, and the children were to be taught
to read and write and trained in a useful skill until they were
age 25. Washington's estate paid for this care until 1833.
What about the What about the
What about the
equality and equality and rights
equality and
rights of of American
rights of the
women? Indians?
enslaved
Africans?

“How is it that we hear


the loudest yelps for
“The most oppressive liberty among the drivers
dominion ever exercised by of the enslaved Africans?
man over man.” -Samuel Johnson (British
-James Madison
Equality? writer)

“To contend for our own


“Slavery is a foul
liberty, and to deny that
contagion in the
blessing to others, involves
human character and
an inconsistency not to be
an evil of colossal
excused.” -John Jay
magnitude.”
“Slavery is an -John Adams
atrocious
“How can the colonists fight for what we are
debasement of
daily robbing and plundering from those who
human nature and a
have as good a right to freedom as we
source of serious
have.” -Abigail Adams (wife to John Adams)
evils.” -Ben Franklin
Discussion questions:
Explain why the Founding Fathers opinions and actions on slavery are so important.

Analyze some of these quotes. What words or phrases indicate how strongly they felt about slavery?

“How is it that we hear


the loudest yelps for
“The most oppressive liberty among the drivers
dominion ever exercised by of the enslaved Africans?
man over man.” -Samuel Johnson (British
-James Madison
Equality? writer)

“To contend for our own


“Slavery is a foul
liberty, and to deny that
contagion in the
blessing to others, involves
human character and
an inconsistency not to be
an evil of colossal
excused.” -John Jay
magnitude.”
“Slavery is an -John Adams
atrocious
“How can the colonists fight for what we are
debasement of
daily robbing and plundering from those who
human nature and a
have as good a right to freedom as we
source of serious
have.” -Abigail Adams (wife to John Adams)
evils.” -Ben Franklin
Let’s look again at some basic rights in the Declaration of Independence

“...people have unalienable rights” SLAVERY

Right to Life
Right to Life
What does “you have the right
Did people who were enslaved have this? Why?
to life” mean?
Why not?
Right to Liberty
Right to Liberty
What is liberty?
Did people who were enslaved have liberty?
Right to Pursue Happiness Why? Why not?
What does it mean to pursue
Right to Pursue Happiness
happiness? Give examples of what
Were people who were enslaved allowed to
people do or have to have truly
pursue happy lives? Why?Why not?
happy lives.
Home Link
Assignment
A two-voice poem is When there are words
written in two columns. that appear on the same
line, they are meant to
be read in unison. Why?

Write Your
Own Two
Voice Poem Pick two voices for your Write your poem, using
poem. One voice of the information you have
patriots, and the other of learned through our
underrepresented group readings and
of people. discussions
Poem for Two Voices: Patriots vs. People Who Were Enslaved
We fight for independence
Pledging our lives, fortunes.
And sacred honor! We had our freedom,
brought here against our will
in chains
Give me liberty, or give me death!
Stamp Act, Tea Act,
Townshend Act too.
George III is a tyrant! Owned, enslaved,
freedom stolen like it
was never mine
Give me liberty, or give me death!

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness

We hold these truths to be self evident


That these rights
are endowed by our Creator

And All men are created equal! And All men are created equal!