Why Was the Declaration of Independence Written?

The Declaration of Independence was written to justify the American colonies’ break from Great Britain and to make it easier to gain international support from potential allies. It enumerated the rights of man and the grievances the colonists had against British rule.

Thomas Jefferson, with input from Benjamin Franklin and John Adams, wrote the body of the Declaration to enumerate the grievances against the British king, but then composed an eloquent preamble that was left untouched through all subsequent revisions. This short introduction stating that certain human rights were self-evident, including the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, formed the core principles of American political belief.