In September 1774, American colonial leaders gathered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. From New Hampshire to Georgia, colonists were angry about the taxes they were forced to pay to Great Britain. But Britain’s King George III and the British government refused to listen to the colonists. Decisionmakers from each American colony held a congressa formal meetingto discuss what the colonies should do. Some leaders wanted to make peace with Britain. Others wanted to break free of British ruleeven if that meant going to war. In the spring of 1776, the members reached a decision. They wrote, voted on, and issued the Declaration of Independence. This important document announced that the newly united American states were no longer a part of Great Britain.
So why were many colonists against paying taxes to Great Britain?
Who actually wrote the Declaration of Independence?
Why do we celebrate on July 4?
Discover the facts about the Declaration of Independence and learn about its place in American history.
About the Author
Candice Ransom is the author of 150 books for children. She holds an MFA from Vermont College and an MA in children's literature from Hollins University. She currently teaches in Hollins University's graduate program in children's literature.
Table of Contents
1 The First Gathering 6
2 War! 12
3 Congress Meets Again 18
4 Colonies to States 24
5 Seventeen Days 30
6 Independence at Last 36
Primary Source: A Letter from John Adams 42
Tell Your Continental Congress Story 43
Source Notes 46
Selected Bibliography 46
Further Reading and Websites 47