The impact of the Declaration of Independence was immense. The movement gained support from the colonies and many foreign countries.
“Freedom had been hunted round the globe; reason was considered as rebellion; and the slavery of fear had made men afraid to think. But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing.”
– Thomas Paine
What was the American reaction to the Declaration?
The Declaration of Independence was not accepted by all Americans. About two-thirds of the population was in favor of it, while one-third (the Loyalists) was against it. For the revolutionaries, the time had come. Thousands of Americans gathered and destroyed the signs and symbols that represented the British Crown. Rioters destroyed a statue of King George III in New York. Each colony declared itself an independent state and replaced the king’s governor. Citizens, including women and slaves, plunged into the War under the command of General Washington.
What was Great Britain’s reaction?
The Declaration of Independence was published in mid-August. The North Ministry did not officially respond to the Declaration but secretly commissioned John Lind, a pamphleteer, to publish a response. The pamphlet was titled Answer to the Declaration of the American Congress which challenged numerous aspects of the Declaration. He asked how Congress could proclaim that “all men are created equal” without freeing their own slaves. The King declared the colonies to be in a state of rebellion and British forces returned in 1776, after which the Battle of Brooklyn was fought in August.
What was the reaction of other nations?
After the translation of the Declaration of Independence into several foreign languages, many countries started questioning their own government. Jefferson himself predicted that American Independence would work as a catalyst, “a ball of liberty” that would travel across the globe. The French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen was influenced by the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson helped the ministers of France to draft a charter of rights in support of a new republic.