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This is a state paper issued on July 4th, 1776, by people representing the thirteen colonies that became the United States of America, wherein are set forth:
Certain natural and unalienable rights of man; the uses and purposes of governments the right of the people to institute or to abolish them; the sufferings of the colonies, and their right to withdraw from the tyranny of the king of Great Britain.
The various acts of tyranny of the British King.
The petitions for redress of these injuries, and the refusal to redress them; the recital of an appeal to the people of Great Britain, and of their being deaf to the voice of justice and consanguinity.
An appeal to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of the intentions of the representatives.
A declaration that the United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British crown, and that all political connexion between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be dissolved.
A pledge by the representatives to each other, of their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.
The effect of this declaration was the establishment of the government of the United States as free and independent of Great Britain.