The Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence is the written announcement stating the thirteen American colonies, under British control, claim their independence and are no longer under British control. A man named John Adams was one of five that had already put together the "rough draft" of the declaration. Later on, John Adams convinced the other four of the committee to let Thomas Jefferson to write the original full document that will be edited by Congress. This committee consisted of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston. There were 59 signers to make this Declaration happen, including John Hancock and John Adams of Massachusetts, Button Gwinnett of New York.
BEFORE: Continuous fighting between American and British colonies, but the Americans were fighting only for what they believed in, equal rights. By the time the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the Revolutionary War was in full swing. The action of getting independence from Britain was all that was being worried about by the 'radicals'. King George III was in full demand on expanding their "great" army and navy to act against the rebellious colonies.
DURING: in March 1776, North Carolina became the first to vote for independence. On June 7, Richard Henry introduced a 'motion' asking for the colonies independence. In rising debate, Congress postponed the vote for several weeks. The initial signing of the declaration began on July 1 and didn't happen until the early morning of July 4. With the Constitution and Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence is considered to be one of three founding documents of the United States government.
Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Declaration_of_Independence www.ushistory.org/Declaration/Signers/index.html http://www.history.com/topics/american-revolution/declaration-of-independence