National Constitution CenterCenturies of Citizenship: A Constitutional Timeline Exhibit
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1765-1786: We win a hard-fought Revolution and seize its promise of liberty

July 8, 1776
INDEPENDENCE!

America declares independence from England

Bonfires are burning. Church bells are ringing. People are cheering all over town.

Philadelphia’s exploding with the news: America is declaring independence from England!

Earlier today, a crowd gathered at the State House to hear an official reading of the Declaration of Independence. Everyone’s talking about this revolutionary document that says:

“All men are created equal” and are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights”; Government exists to “secure these Rights” and derives its power from the “Consent of the Governed”; And the people can “alter or abolish” a government that destroys rights instead of securing them.

The Continental Congress not only declared independence; they’ve published the document for everyone to see. Soon word will reach all the colonies.

This revolution is all about rights. No king can take our rights away.

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