Declaration of Independence
The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America
have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station
that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers form the consent of the governed. That
abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in
such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that
hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by
patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former
facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their
operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large
districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right
inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their
meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that
purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration
hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.
He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of
He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by
our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
of these states:
For imposing taxes on us without our consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury:
For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses:
the same absolute rule in these colonies:
For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases
He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
tyranny, already begun
with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the
head of a civilized nation.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers,
the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and
In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated
which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have we been wanting in attention to our British brethren. Wehave warned them from time to time of attempts
by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances
of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have
conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt
our connections and orrespondence. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our
separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.
We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to
the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the
good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to
be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political
to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration,
with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our
fortunes and our sacred honor.