Lecture 11 - Independence

author: Joanne B. Freeman, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: Feb. 14, 2013,   recorded: February 2010,   views: 2943
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)
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Description

In this lecture, Professor Freeman discusses the Declaration of Independence and sets the document in its historical context. The Declaration was not the main focus of the Second Continental Congress, which was largely concerned with organizing the defensive war effort. The Congress had sent King George III the Olive Branch Petition in a last attempt at reconciliation in August 1775, but the King ignored the petition and declared the colonies to be in rebellion. Throughout the colonies, local communities began debating the issue of independence on their own, often at the instruction of their colonial legislatures, and these local declarations of independence contributed to the formal declaration of independence by the Continental Congress in July 1776. Professor Freeman concludes the lecture by describing the decision to have Thomas Jefferson draft the Declaration.

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