The American Journey © 2007

Chapter 5: Road to Independence

Student Web Activity

"The Declaration of Independence"

In this chapter you learned about the many events that led to the American Revolution. As anger toward Britain grew, many colonists began to feel that independence was the only possible choice. The members of the Second Continental Congress began to discuss independence in the early summer of 1776. By July they were ready to vote. Even though it was considered treason, and would mean death if they were caught, the vote to declare independence was unanimous.

Destination Title: The Declaration of Independence

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Start at the History Channel Web site's exhibit on the Declaration of Independence.

  • Click on and read about The Call for Independence.
  • Scroll up to the top of the screen and click on Preservation. Read about the efforts that have been made to preserve the document.

Use what you have learned to answer the following questions.

Who were the five members of the committee appointed to write a declaration of independence?
Why did the committee choose Jefferson to write the draft?
From where and from whom did Jefferson draw inspiration in drafting the Declaration of Independence?
Summarize the efforts that have been made over the past 50 years to preserve the Declaration of Independence.
Scroll up to the top of the screen and click on Biographies of the Signers. Choose one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and read his biography. Prepare a two-minute presentation for your class in which you share what you have learned about the signer. Use visual aids—such as posters or pictures—and conduct additional research if necessary. Make sure that you and your classmates each choose a different signer to research and present.
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