Why Was the Declaration of Independence Important?

Tom Grill/Photographer’s Choice RF/Getty Images

The Declaration of Independence was important for several reasons, including that it helped the original thirteen colonies break free from British rule and established good cause for seeking independence. The Declaration of Independence, formally recognized by Congress on July 4, 1776, granted important rights to colonists. By signing the Declaration, members of Congress granted key rights to American citizens and helped the United States establish independence and recognition as a new nation capable of functioning independently from Britain.

In addition to granting fundamental rights to citizens, the Declaration of Independence ushered in a new era of politics. Through the Declaration, the United States demonstrated its will to break free from British rule and form alliances with French forces instead. Ultimately, the alliance between the United States and France created a strong bond that remained strong during the war against Great Britain.

Although Congress enacted the Declaration of Independence in 1776, the issues leading to its creation surfaced long before then. Colonists suffered from increasingly restrictive policies, enacted by the British government, regulating trade, taxes and frontier policies in the preceding decade. Colonists joined together in protests to express discontent with British policies, but little change resulted from their efforts until the Declaration of Independence.