The Declaration of Independence
Reading Comprehension Activity

Author: Second Continental Congress

The Declaration of Independence was the document adopted and signed by the Second Continental Congress in which the American colonies announced their independence from Great Britain. Students will read the passage and answer questions on the theme and vocabulary.

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Passage

The Second Continental
Congress signed the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia on July 4,
1776. This is the first part of the document. The spelling and grammar is the
same as in the original. 

 ———————-

 

In Congress, July 4,
1776.

 

The unanimous
Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

 

When in the Course of
human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political
bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of
the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of
Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires
that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

 

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men
are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain
unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of
Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men,
deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever
any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of
the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying
its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to
them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.  Prudence, indeed, will dictate that
Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient
causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more
disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by
abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of
abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to
reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to
throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future
security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is
now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of
Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of
repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the
establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.

Comprehension Questions
Answers

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