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Happy Independence Day!

How to Read and Understand the Declaration of Independence

Have you ever read the Declaration of Independence? Did you know it only takes about ten minutes?

More importantly, why should any American read the Declaration? The short answer is: So it never happens again.

Why Did They Write It?

Understanding why the Declaration of Independence was written may arouse our curiosity enough to spend ten minutes reading it.

In his book, How to Read the Constitution & The Declaration of Independence, Paul Skousen explains why they wrote the Declaration.

“In the 1760’s, England’s King George III was angry, sick, and struggling. Great Britain had just won a long war with France and the British were deeply in debt. The King and his government sought relief by taxing the American colonies.

The Colonists are Infuriated into Action

“The colonists were infuriated because they had no say regarding the new taxes and restrictions. They started writing letters and sending messengers in protest. They created the Continental Association to carry out a trade boycott against Great Britain. It was the first time the 13 colonies formally joined together to exert their rights and resist British authority. The Association was very successful while it lasted and British trade plummeted.

“The King ignored these efforts and bore down even harder. The Americans were finally pushed to take drastic action. They saw no way forward to regain their liberties except to revolt and break away from England. The Declaration of Independence was their formal announcement.

Frustrations Written into the New Constitution

“The Declaration captures the spirit and ideals of the War for Independence, and shows why the Americans were so frustrated with the King. After they won the war and created their new government, those frustrations were written right into their new Constitution. For each act of oppression the King inflicted upon the colonists there is a constitutional section, clause, or protection to prevent such abuse from ever happening again.

“The Declaration explains the “Why?” of the Constitution – its purpose, its mission, and its fulfillment of a great new promise called liberty.”

How to Read It

Here’s the Declaration of Independence – divided into its five parts – to help us understand it while reading. NEW! Reading Tips for the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution here.

Family Fun

On what day did the Second Continental Congress vote for independence? What was the significance of the Battle of Saratoga?

This Independence Day, test your knowledge of the American Revolution by taking a short quiz online at: hillsdaleforliberty.com/July4Quiz

We at Daystar wish you a Happy Independence Day!