American independence begins not only with war and protest, but the Declaration of Independence itself. The Declaration serves as both a official severing of ties with Great Britain for the American colonies, and also a list of grievances detailing why this separation is necessary. It is the culmination of what the colonists had protested for, and against, throughout the years leading up to the American Revolution. Written by Thomas Jefferson in 1776, the Declaration is one of the most important and defining documents of our nation’s beginning.
Social Studies graphic organizers Declaration of Independence summary Timeline -
TIMELINE TO THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
The British and French battle for control over the North American territory in what is known as the Seven Years War, or French and Indian War. The war begins in 1754, lasting until 1763 with British victory and control.
PROCLAMATION OF 1763
This is NATIVE land!
The Proclamation Act of 1763 is passed, barring all British colonists from expanding and settling West of the Appalachian Mountains. This infuriates and frustrates many ambitious settlers. Tensions begin to rise.
Why can't we settle past here?!
Five Bostonians are killed when violence erupts between British regulars and colonists. The event is further muddled with tension when Paul Revere's political cartoon depicts innocent colonists being gunned down. Opposition to the British increases.
What have you done!
BOSTON TEA PARTY
LEXINGTON AND CONCORD
Take that, Tea Act of 1773!
What the devil?!
The Boston Tea Party is an act of protest from colonists when they drop tons of tea into Boston Harbor in opposition to Britain's Tea Act of 1773. Taxes against local merchants pushed colonists to reject the attempted tea monopoly, as well as British control.
SIGNING OF THE DECLARATION
Tensions and violence reach a pinnacle when British regulars battle American colonists in what will become the first battle of the American Revolution; Lexington and Concord. The colonists fare well, running the British back to Boston. War, however, is far from over.
As the war escalates, delegates from the 13 colonies meet as the First Continental Congress. At the Second, the delegates adopt the Declaration of Independence, signifying their severing of ties with Great Britain. It is an act of treason, but of great significance to America.