The Declaration of Independence Explained | A Primary Source Close Read w/ BRI
What was the Continental Congress's argument for Independence? Join Kirk Higgins, as he takes a line by line look at the the Declaration of Independence.
A Primary Source Close Reads Video Playlist
Primary Source Close Reading with BRI investigates some of the most pivotal speeches and documents that made America. In this series, join BRI staff Kirk Higgins and guests as they dissect how seminal documents, court cases, and speeches forged America’s development and impact our lives today.
Declaration of Independence
On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee brought what came to be called the Lee Resolution before the Continental Congress. This resolution stated “these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states ...” Congress debated independence for several days.
Rights and the Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence, based in part on the philosophy of John Locke, was an “expression of the American mind”. Going back to Magna Carta, British nobles had petitioned the monarch demanding limits to his power. But Locke argues and the Declaration of Independence asserts that legitimate government is based on the consent of the governed. Locke’s ideas were too democratic, too revolutionary for his time in England, but a century later they had a firm hold in the American colonies, and in 1776 they were the basis of the original and most fundamental American statement of rights, the Declaration of Independence.
The Declaration of Independence – Docs of Freedom
The Declaration of Independence was drafted by Thomas Jefferson in June of 1776. The Declaration announced to the world that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves independent sovereign states. It articulates the fundamental ideas that form the American Nation: All people are created free and equal and possess the same inherent, unalienable rights. This lesson plan includes six activities. The activities can be taught in sequence as a comprehensive overview of the Declaration of Independence or individual activities can be taught as stand-alone lessons.