America’s biggest idea


The history of the United States is built upon a set of ideas and ideals, expressed by a group of British colonists scattered along the Atlantic seaboard during the last quarter of the 18th century. In justifying independence, the Declaration of Independence asserted an eternal and universal truth about human rights in words that have inspired downtrodden people through the ages and around the world to rise up against their oppressors. This is one of the copies produced by John Dunlap, the official printer of the Continental Congress. It was inserted into the “rough journal” of the Continental Congress within the July 4 entry. The handwritten version of the Declaration, later signed by members of the Continental Congress, is on permanent display in the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, in the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom.

National Archives, Records of the Continental and Confederation Congresses and the Constitutional Convention



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