I When you think of our countries history, what

I am sure that we can agree
that we are very lucky to live in the greatest country in the world, the United
States. But how did this amazing country come to be? When you think of our
countries history, what do you think our countries most important document
could be? Some may think it’s the Constitution, or maybe the Bill of Rights. I
believe our countries most important document is the Declaration of
Independence. I am sure most U.S. citizens know about the Declaration of
Independence, but do you know who the author is?  In this paper, I will be discussing the
Declaration of independence and the author Thomas Jefferson.  

            I would like to talk about what led to the Declaration of
independence being written. After many of the battles of the Revolution war had
happened, colonists began to want independence from Britain. This really became
what most colonists wanted when a British immigrant Thomas Paine published a
pamphlet called “Common Sense”, this pamphlet basically stated that
independence was a “natural right”. This pamphlet sold more than 150,000 copies.

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I believe this had a big effect on the colonies leaders deciding to go ahead
with trying to gain their independence. A few months later, eight colonies
voted in favor of independence. A delegate from Virginia named Richard Henry
Lee introduced a motion for independence that was postponed for weeks. Although
the decision was postponed, a committee of five was appointed including Thomas
Jefferson, John Adams, Roger Sherman, Benjamin Franklin, and Robert Livingston.

These five individuals were responsible with drafting a document stating why
the colonies were wanting their independence from Great Britain. 1

            The five men that were appointed to draft the document
for independence from Great Britain chose Thomas Jefferson to write the draft
of the document. Thomas Jefferson was chosen because he was known for being
vocal for patriotic reasons. Jefferson was already well known for his writing
because he wrote the document that is known as ” A Summary View of the Rights
of British America”.  Copies of this
document were highly distributed and this played a big part in Thomas Jefferson
being the writer of the Declaration of independence. The others in the
committee had read ” A Summary View of the Rights of British America” and felt
that he was a great writer and thought he would be the best choice to write the
Declaration of Independence.

It took
Thomas Jefferson less than three weeks to write the original draft of the
Declaration of Independence. Jefferson used a few documents as inspiration as
he began to write the first draft of the Declaration. The documents that Thomas
Jefferson used were a couple of his own, ” A Summary View of the Rights of
British America”, and he took a lot of inspiration from his ” Virginia State
Constitution”. Another document he used as inspiration was a document called
the ” Virginia Declaration of Rights”. Thomas Jefferson did not write this
document, it was actually written by George Mason. Many have considered the
Virginia Declaration of Rights as the predecessor to the Declaration of
Independence because Thomas Jefferson relied on it so much while writing the
Declaration. 2

less than three weeks, Thomas Jefferson had completed the first draft of the
Declaration of Independence. Once Thomas Jefferson completed the original
draft, He passed it along to John Adams and Benjamin Franklin; these two men were
part of the committee that was put together to create the Declaration of
Independence. After changes were made to the original draft, the declaration
was presented to congress. The Declaration was looked at and had some changes
made to the Declaration for a few days until July 4th, 1776. On July
4th, Congress voted for the Declaration of Independence to be
published. The Declaration that was approved by congress was for the most part
the same as what Thomas Jefferson wrote; but there was some changes made to it
that Thomas Jefferson was not very happy about. One of the points congress took
out of the original draft was a section that talked about the abolishment of
slavery. At the time, slavery was a large portion of the economy for the
southern states so I can see why they did it. Thomas Jefferson was very anti-
slavery so I can see why he didn’t agree with that change. The second major
section that congress changed that Thomas Jefferson wasn’t happy about was the
section where Thomas Jefferson wrote that British citizens should be condemned
for not challenging the king. Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence
became the official Declaration to the world on July 4th, 1776.  There were 56 members of congress that signed
the document.3

about 50 years after the Declaration of Independence became official, many
people did not know that Thomas Jefferson was the author of the Declaration.

Many believed that it was written with a few different authors. The truth is
that Thomas Jefferson himself wrote the original draft of the Declaration of
Independence and the other men on the committee edited the document a few times
before they were satisfied with it and then the Declaration was taken to
congress to be signed. It wasn’t until after the revolutionary war was won that
people started to learn that Jefferson was in fact the author. It also wasn’t
until Jefferson’s last year of his life that he admitted to being the author.

He also stated that the Declaration of Independence he wrote had no new ideas,
he gave credit to other people and events as inspiration for the Declaration of

conclusion, I think it was absolutely amazing to read about the events and
people that led to the Declaration of Independence being written. What would
our country had been like had our founding fathers not declared independence
from the King and Great Britain?  The
United States of America is lucky that we had brave men that did not back down
from the King and the British Army during the Revolutionary war. We should all
be grateful for Thomas Paine and his pamphlet “common sense”, without that
document, Thomas Jefferson may not have gotten the support for the Declaration
of Independence as he did. I believe that without Thomas Jefferson, the
founding fathers, and the Declaration, I do not believe that the United States
would have become the country we are now. This is why I believe the Declaration
of Independence is the most important document in our countries history.

1 History.com Staff. “Declaration of
Independence.” History.com. 2009. Accessed December 07, 2017.


2 “Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of
Independence.” Revolutionary War and Beyond. Accessed November 17, 2017.


3 Wills, Matthew. “Who wrote the Declaration of
Independence?” JStor. July 2, 2017. Accessed November 20, 2017.