Intention

The main intentions behind “The Declaration of Independence” were for the thirteen North American colonies to make a formal announcement of separation from Great Britain and to explain the reasoning behind the separation. These intentions are announced from the first lines of the document: “a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.” (ll. 10-12)

The intention behind the opening paragraphs of the Declaration – also known as the Preamble – are to lay down the principles of government which served as a basis for the colonies to declare independence. To give legitimacy to the demands of the colonies, the authors appeal to the ethos conferred by natural, God-given rights: “…assume among the powers of the earth, the separate …

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