Rep. Franklin and colleagues sign the Declaration of Independence

Aug 30, 2021

As colonies demanded more independence they arrived to the conclusion that they could not reach an agreement with Britain. The colonies were economically tied to Britain and needed commercial agreements with other European countries. The only way Europeans would sign trade agreements was if America was recognized as an independent country.  

In June 1776 a motion was made in Congress for a Declaration of Independence. Rep. Franklin was part of the five-member committee that drafted the Declaration of Independence, other members were John Adams of Massachusetts, Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, Robert R. Livingston of New York and Roger Sherman of Connecticut. The Committee of Five presented the document to Congress on June 28, 1776. Thomas Jefferson wrote the first draft which was submitted on July 2, that same day Congress voted in favor of Richard Henry Lee’s motion for independence. On July 4 the Continental Congress approved the wording of the document which was sent to print.

John Hancock, president of Congress, was the first to sign the document. Other delegates signed on August 2 and the last person to sign was Matthew Thornton, New Hampshire delegate.

At the end of 1777 delegates of congress formulated the Articles of Confederation which was unanimously ratified by all colonies. It established a central government in a more permanent union of states and a unified foreign policy.

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