History of the Declaration of Independence

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The Declaration of Independence: A brief history
The Declaration of Independence is not a formal, legal document like the U.S. Constitution. However, it is often cited as setting forth the principles of the American system of government and used as a defense of the principles of 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness' in the American political discourse. While not officially binding like a body of law, because of its ideological and emotional significance, the Declaration still remains relevant on a symbolic level today.
The document has its origins with "the Second Continental Congress, which was essentially the government of the United States from 1775 to 1788." Ever since King George III refused to reply to the petition for redress of grievances of the First Continental Congress, the Congress had taken on more and more of "the responsibilities of a national government. In June 1775 the Congress established the Continental Army as well as a continental currency. By the end of July of that year, it created a post office for the United Colonies." Tensions continued to build between the crown and the colonists. King George censured the colonists for engaging in open rebellion and employed German mercenaries in preparation for war.
Before the Second Congress recessed it appointed a Committee of Five to draft the document that would eventually become known as the Declaration of Independence. This committee consisted of John Adams of Massachusetts, Roger Sherman of
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