Interpreting the Declaration of Independence

Fill in the blanks based on what you know about the Declaration.


Rephrased Excerpt

Simple Sketch

Excerpt 1:

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.

In the course of history, it becomes right for one people to be on their own – to become a country equal with others. This is a natural law of God. So that the world will have a good opinion of us, we must explain why we are separating.


Excerpt 2:
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.

It is obvious to us that the following is true: God created all people equally. God has given all people rights that cannot be taken away. These include the right to live, to be free, and to be happy.


Excerpt 3:
to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…

To defend these rights, the power of the government must be with the people, receiving its power with the agreement of the people being governed.


Excerpt 4:
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,

When government destroys the people’s rights, the people have the right to change or do away with the government and set up a new one.


Excerpt 5:
The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.

King George has hurt us over and over by misusing his power. His goal is to govern by having all the power, giving none to the people.



Excerpt 6:
To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.


He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.


For proof, let us show the facts to the world honestly. He has refused to agree to laws that are good for the people.


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