The Declaration of Independence is America's most prized possession, and with Fourth of July right around the corner, it's a great time to revisit the document and everything that it did for this country. These 13 Declaration of Independence quotes cover lots of ground on the matter. They include famous lines from the actual Declaration, words from those who signed it, the historians who studied it, and those that were affected by it. Now that's some rich territory!
If you've never taken the time to actually read through the Declaration of Independence, July 4th is a great time to do it. It's important to know what your country stands for and to know the history of its formation. While the wording can be a little tough to trudge through, it's not incomprehensible. The men who signed it risked their life in doing so, which means that the least we can do as Americans is read it in full.
If you need some more motivation, I'm pretty sure that these quotes below will help peak your interest. They capture the significance of the document as well as how exciting (and scary!) of a time it was during the signing. History can be really cool you guys, especially if it's still affecting the way in which our country operates today.
1. "We must be unanimous; there must be no pulling different ways; we must hang together." — John Hancock
2. "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." — Declaration of Independence
3. "The dons, the bashaws, the grandees, the patricians, the sachems, the nabobs, call them by what names you please, sigh and groan and fret, and sometimes stamp and foam and curse, but all in vain. The decree is gone forth, and it cannot be recalled, that a more equal liberty than has prevailed in other parts of the earth must be established in America." — John Adams
4. "The flames kindled on the 4th of July 1776, have spread over too much of the globe to be extinguished by the feeble engines of despotism; on the contrary, they will consume these engines and all who work them." — Thomas Jefferson
5. "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; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; 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, 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." — Declaration of Independence
6. "Let us prepare for the worst. We can die here but once." — Abraham Clark
7. "But the Day is past. The Second Day of July 1776 (the day the Continental Congress approved a resolution for independence), will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America." — John Adams
8. "Adams, remarking the difficulty with which the resolution of independence was passed, said it was like getting thirteen clocks to strike at the same instant." — Garry Wills
9. "Do you recollect the pensive and awful silence which pervaded the house when we were called up, one after another, to the table of the President of Congress to subscribe what was believed by many at that time to be our own death warrants?" — Benjamin Rush
10. "Let the annual return of this day forever refresh our recollections of these rights, and an undiminished devotion to them." — Thomas Jefferson
11. "I have said that the Declaration of Independence is the ring-bolt to the chain of your nation’s destiny; so, indeed, I regard it. The principles contained in that instrument are saving principles. Stand by those principles, be true to them on all occasions, in all places, against all foes, and at whatever cost." — Frederick Douglass
12. "Advice is received that the congress resolved upon independence the 4th of July; and, it is said, have declared war against Great Britain in form." — London Chronicle
13. "May the foundation of our new constitution, be justice, Truth and Righteousness. Like the wise Mans house may it be founded upon those Rocks and then neither storms or tempests will overthrow it." — Abigail Adams
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