Official State of Iowa Website Here is how you know
State Historical Society of Iowa

Declaration of Independence, 1776

    Download Image Resource

Printed coy of US Declaration of Independence
Courtesy of Library of Congress, Declaration of Independence, 1776


The Declaration of Independence is one of the founding documents of American history. The document declared that the American colonies of Great Britain were an independent country and listed all of the complaints the colonists had against British rule. The document makes references to rights that should belong to all people.

Transcript of "Declaration of Independence," 1776

Transcribed Excerpts "Declaration of Independence," 1776

Source-Dependent Questions

  • How does the Declaration of Independence echo ideas promoted by John Locke in Two Treatises of Government? Use quotes from both texts to support your opinion.
  • The words of the Declaration have inspired many people since being adopted by the Second Continental Congress in July of 1776. However, in 1776 the ideas of equality and unalienable rights did not extend to everyone including enslaved individuals, women, those who did not own property or American Indians among others. How did the Framers' understanding of civil rights and who deserves them differ from how you understand them?

Citation Information

George Washington Papers, Series 4, General Correspondence: Continental Congress, July 4, Printed Declaration of Independence. July 4, 1776. Manuscript/Mixed Material. Retrieved from the Library of Congress.