The Birth of an Idea

I was born July 4, 1776, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. There had never been anything quite like me before or since. I guess you could say I am one of a kind. Some have said that I am perhaps the most masterfully written state paper of Western civilization.

You see, I am a document called the Declaration of Independence. The ideas that are contained within me are not new. They had been around for a long time and had been expressed by other people. What Thomas Jefferson did was to summarize these ideas. He presented a philosophy of "self-evident truths" and listed a set of grievances against the king at that time, King George III. He did this to explain to the rest of the world why it was necessary to break ties with the mother country of Great Britain.

I said that I was born on July 4, but it actually took Thomas Jefferson a long time to construct me. I was drafted between June 11 and June 28, 1776. I am considered by many to be the nation's most cherished symbol of liberty and Jefferson's most enduring monument.

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