the document which stated that the thirteen British colonies in America were independent of Britain. It was adopted on July 4, 1776. Culture The Declaration of Independence stated the principles of the new government in America. One of its most famous sentences is this: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’ The document was mostly written by Thomas Jefferson and received the approval of the Continental Congress on 4 July 1776. Those signing it included Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and John Hancock.