American Defenders of Land, Sea & Sky
A Nation in the Making
   The American Revolution (1775-1783)

Independence Hall
We declared our independence...

Independence Hall
Independence National Historical Park
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

  By the time the Second Continental Congress convened on May 10, 1775, war had already broken out in Massachusetts. Young Thomas Jefferson was chosen to write a document explaining why the colonies should be free from British rule. His words would have to be powerful enough to shape a nation. Jefferson said the King of England was "unfit to be a ruler of a free people" and "that all men are created equal."

   On July 4, 1776, his essay, known as the Declaration of Independence, was adopted by the Congress. Among the signers were John Adams, John Hancock, Benjamin Franklin, and Samuel Adams. The Declaration of Independence was printed in newspapers and read at public gatherings in every city and village. On July 8th, Philadelphia's now famous bell rang out to proclaim "liberty throughout the land."

...and provided for a common defense.

  This room inside Independence Hall was the meeting place of the Constitutional Convention four years after the American Revolution had ended. Fifty-five delegates met here from May to September, 1787, to choose the best way to govern and protect our new nation. The U.S. Constitution gave Congress the power to "provide for the common defense." Before the Constitution, each state raised its own militia for defense. Now, military forces would be raised by Congress to protect the whole United States. The President was made Commander-in-Chief of the military. By June 26, 1788, all the states had ratified the Constitution.

  Together, the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution, with its Bill of Rights, are the most important documents in our nation's history.

Follow our history to...Fort Ticonderoga Take me to Ticonderoga, New York

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