Freedom: A History of US.
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Webisode 1: Independence
Introduction Segment 1 Segment 2 Segment 3 Segment 4 Segment 5 Segment 6 Segment 7 Segment 8 Segment 9

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The rough draft of the Declaration of Independence
Segment 8
Franklin, Jefferson, and Adams at work on the Declaration The Declaration of Independence

If the delegates were going to take this big risk, they wanted to make it worthwhile. And it would be worthwhile if they could help create a free nation, a great nation, a republic run by its citizens—something that had never before been done. So they thought it important to explain exactly why it was necessary to be free of English rule. That's why they asked Virginia's Thomas Jefferson See It Now - Thomas Jefferson chosen to write the Declaration of Independence to write a declaration. Adams later remembered: "Jefferson proposed to me to make the draft. I said, 'I will not. You can write ten times better than I can' Check The Source - John Adams Account."

And so it was the shy young Thomas Jefferson who would compose the central document of American freedom. Sitting at a portable writing desk he himself had designed, Jefferson worked on the second floor of a brick house in Philadelphia and wrote and rewrote until he had it the way he wanted it, and then the delegates made a few changes and it was done See It Now - Rough Draft. Adams was right. Thomas Jefferson knew just what to say, and he said it in a way that inspired people all over the world. Listen again to the Declaration's central words: Hear It Now - Declaration of Independence "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."

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Did You Know?
After independence came, John Adams went to England as an Ambassador.

Did you know that Freedom is adapted from the award-winning Oxford University Press multi-volume book series, A History of US by Joy Hakim?

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