The Difference Between the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution

The Declaration of Independence

The Declaration of Independence is a document that explains how the colonies became a new country. It is not only a list of grievances against King George III, but it also explains how the colonies were going to govern themselves after they declared independence. The Declaration was adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4th, 1776 and signed by 56 delegates representing each colony except Georgia. The Declaration was written by a committee consisting of Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, John Adams, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston. 

Thomas Jefferson - Wikipedia
A Portrait of Thomas Jefferson

The Constitution

The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. It’s a document that explains how our government is supposed to work. It sets up a system of checks and balances, with three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial. The Constitution also establishes five main rights: freedom of speech and religion; freedom from unreasonable searches; trial by jury; protection from self-incrimination (refusing to testify against yourself) in court; due process (proper treatment by police).

The Constitution has been amended 26 times since it was written in 1787—the first 10 Amendments were added immediately after it was ratified because they were considered so important that they could not wait until later amendments could be added.

Differences Between the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution

The Declaration of Independence is a statement of principles. It doesn’t set forth specific rules for governing the United States, but instead declares that all men are created equal and that they have certain inalienable rights—including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The Constitution on the other hand is a set of rules that guides how our government functions. It outlines specific procedures for voting, how Congress should be organized and run its business, who’s responsible for what duties within each branch of government, etc.

For centuries after its adoption by Americans it lived alongside an equally important document called “The Bill of Rights” which added limits or protections on what was allowed in law based on certain parts from both documents. Over time these amendments have been added as needed to ensure everyone has equal opportunity under law regardless if you’re rich or poor; male or female; straight or gay; black or white…

The Declaration of Independence was a statement to King George III explaining why the colonies did not want to be a part of Great Britain anymore. 

The Declaration signaled that colonial America would no longer be under British rule but would instead form its own government without ties to England or any other country at all. The document contains four main points:

  • 1) King George III had invaded their rights and liberties as Englishmen;
  • 2) They were taking control over themselves;
  • 3) They were breaking away from Great Britain;
  • 4) And they wanted peace between both countries so long as each nation’s rights were respected (the last two points are not repeated).

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