Manage series 2902579
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The Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776. It announced that the thirteen American colonies, who were at war with Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War, no longer considered themselves part of the British Empire. They now called themselves a new nation, The United States of America. This famous document went on to become a well-known keystone of the human rights movement. However, the newly formed state had no real identity or philosophy and were merely a loose collection of states that had freed themselves from colonial rule. The Continental Congress was considered to be their governing body and by 1777, this congress decided to bring the colonies together via the articles of confederation. Individual states could come together on a common platform whenever issues that affected all of them arose, but inside each state, there was freedom to conduct affairs independently. In time, the states realized that there was no centralized power which became necessary to maintain unity and uniformity. In 1787, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia led by George Washington established a strong central policy with a federal system for states and the three branches: the judiciary, the executive and the legislative. The delegates to the convention became known as the framers of the constitution. The US Constitution is the work of many combined intellects and sought to include various different viewpoints. They included famous Americans like Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, George Washington, George Mason and many others. The average age at the convention was about 38 – which was appropriate for the founding and the birth of a young nation. After nearly four months of intense debate and discussions, the final document was agreed upon. Since then, there have been nearly 27 amendments to the constitution, the most important being the Bill of Rights. This famous document, which begins, “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish Justice, insure domestic tranquility....” has become the template for many countries which became independent in later years. It is an interesting and insightful document that records the history, aspirations and hopes of the New World. Benjamin Franklin admitted that it was not perfect, but felt it was necessary to establish a central government. The original document, written on parchment is on display at the National Archives, Washington DC. Modern day readers will indeed find it a fascinating and impressive read.