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What are the four parts of the Declaration of Independence?

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Quick Answer

The four parts of the Declaration of Independence are the Preamble, a statement asserting the rights of all people, a third section on the grievances of the King and Parliament and a fourth section granting freedom and independence to the original 13 colonies. The Declaration of Independence was drafted in the late 1770s. After receiving support from members of Congress on July 2, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was officially ratified and signed on July 4, 1776.

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What are the four parts of the Declaration of Independence?
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The Preamble is the first part of the Declaration of Independence and serves as an introduction. The Preamble outlines the purpose and rationale for the enactment of the Declaration of Independence. This document was drafted during the presidency of Thomas Jefferson. He wanted to separate the 13 colonies from the ruling hand of Britain. Jefferson used the Preamble to explain his rationale for wanting to establish the 13 colonies as an independent nation. The Preamble is followed by a section outlining the rights of all people. This section affords citizens basic human rights, including the rights of equality, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These rights, according to the Declaration, are vested in the American public and cannot be taken away. The third section lists grievances under the king, and the document concludes with the assertion that the 13 colonies are free states and independent from British rule.

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  • Q:

    What did the Declaration of Independence do?

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    The Declaration of Independence set forth a formal assessment of grievances against the British government and declared that, because their rights had been violated repeatedly, the 13 North American colonies were formally declaring their independence from British rule. It had the additional benefit of bringing all the colonies together as a unified group and provided justification for intervention by future allies, such as France.

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  • Q:

    What are unalienable rights?

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    In the United States Declaration of Independence, the term "unalienable rights" signifies rights that are granted by the Creator and cannot be taken away from the people. The rights listed in the same sentence are the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

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    What does "provide for the common defense" mean?

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    The Preamble's declaration that the U.S. Constitution was established in part to "provide for the common defense" refers to the authority it grants the federal government to maintain a military for use in defense of the union. Specifically, Congress is granted authority under Article I to raise and maintain an army, while the president is named its commander-in-chief by Article II.

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  • Q:

    Who was the main author of the Declaration of Independence?

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    Thomas Jefferson is considered to be the primary author of the Declaration of Independence, according to America's Library, of the Library of Congress. Jefferson wrote the draft that was considered by the Continental Congress between June 11 and 28, 1776.

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